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DonnaW

My son and his wife!

120 posts in this topic

I appreciate EVERYONE'S thoughts...I'm not perfect I admit I gave too much! And I POSTED on her to gain insight.... I'm that way with everyone....I'm a giver! Not with strings because I can... and I'm a caring person... often I give anonymously! I'm grateful even though we worked hard to be where we are so I like to give back! As far as the video They we're paid to be there! We paid for the rehearsal dinner and the honeymoon! They showed up for everything except my part even though they were scheduled to be there! As far as the gifts being thrown out...it was a box of gifts it was an accident! As far as knowing she has a mother I get that I released that many years ago! BUT...they have two daughters my son is the son they Never had she calls her his 3rd child! He doesn't call her mom! But I was used to even his friends calling me mom in high school etc! As far as other interests! I have made myself my project ..menopause is the devil...and I'm trying to get in better shape! We have two Dogs children and we purchased a small RV I really enjoy time with my husband! Keep in mind my son and his wife had many big events and always the bob and sally show! Engagement, showers, wedding, honeymoon, graduating nursing school, graduated college, law school, moving across country for law school..taking the bar, graduating law school, moving back across country, buying a home, now not even in their home 2 months she's 3 weeks pregnant! I'm worn out....just typing that...I'm not even excited about baby showers they just got into their house... I think I'm FEELING a lot of emotions because I WANT to be more distant! Seriously...I'm tired! (0= And I AGREE my husband wants to blame his wife...and is afraid he's being controlled! BUT ...not me my son is a grown man.... I think it should be him picking the cards and I told him that! I Love his wife! I also AGREE that keeping track only hurts me! BUT....I kind of feel like yoyo....Because I kept the boundaries LOSE...and open for her to make her feel comfortable! So now I'm trying to be loving and kind but at more of a distance...BUT...I want it to be the REAL me! I think being and empty nester is about making changes and I have realized that we will never be too close to them geographically it's way to HOT there... I think part of my emotion is stepping back and see my expectations are changing! The hard thing is when I pull away my son notices...I feel I'm in a catch 22 sometimes!

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Donna, I am not going to attack you, because I, too, am an enabler. I didn't realize that until a friend of mine bluntly told me. At first, I was hurt and defensive, you know? I had excuses such as "I just want to help". "I dont want them to struggle the way we did". I am working on my enabling ways. You know what happened? While I sat at home, hoping my son and wife would bring my grandchild to see me, they was out having fun, spending THEIR money on eating at nice restuarants and going out with friends. They could spend THEIR money because it was MY money that paid the bills for them. If they ran out of money, they could always come to me for electric bill, car payment, diapers, whatever they needed. Then I had more kids who got married and had kids. I wanted to do things for the other kids and gks, but this one son and his wife was draining me. I had created monsters. They started to "expect" it from me, and when they expect something, to me, they are more disrespectful. At least, in my situation. I stopped. I started going to see my siblings and spending my money on hubby & myself, eating out and enjoying life. I bought cloth diapers. They stopped asking to "borrow" diapers. lol My advice to you is to let some of this go. Don't read anything into it. Take what you get and be thankful for it. Don't let your grown kids and grandkids be your entire life. We moms and mom-in-laws are certainly not our grown kids entire life, and its not healthy to expect that. Just a word of advice. When GKs come, don't be afraid to say no to babysitting. When I only had one GC, I never said no to babysitting, even when I didnt feel like it. Now that I am a lot older, and more GKs, I don't feel like babysitting. I don't mind for short periods of time, but not long periods. I had one of my DILs throw it up in my face how I always wanted to keep GC#1, but not her second child. When we do too much, we set ourselves up for disappointments and to get hurt. I am learning that we need to say no sometimes. We need to allow our kids to grow up.

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Well, for what it is worth, here are my thoughts. I am a DIL who is currently having major IL problems, I'll admit, but I will try not to project. I agree with PPs about cutting out the money thing. When I got married I was 21, which was 8 years ago. We did not have financial help for anything, really. We have struggled and worked very hard. We don't have a lot to brag about, but what we do have, we have built together. I think that has streangthened our marriage. Obviously stop keeping score. You said yourself they live closer to her family anyway. It is not going to be even. And your DH is probably right, it still wouldn't be even if you lived nearby probably. Look at it this way: They likely hang out with their friends more than they hang out with you also. Probably even more than they hang out with her parents. You would never keep track of that. Also, you are right. It is hurting you way more than it is helping you. As far as her staying home, leave it alone. I'm sure the two of them have discussed it. And you are likely right that they don't have any idea the costs of a baby as you guys have not made them grow up and deal with their own finances. That being said, 60k is not that unreasonable. My DH made 36K our DDs first year. We still made the decision for me to stay home. It was really important to us that one of us was at home with her. Was it hard? Sure. But we have made it. We cut corners everywhere we could. I cloth diaper, so we don't have to spend tons on diapers. I am a coupon shopper, and I cook every night. When something is on sale, such as meat, I buy a lot and freeze it so that I don't have to buy it when it isn't on sale. They can do it if they put their minds to it. I'm just saying I found it very hurtful when my MIL or anyone for that matter would make comments about OUR choices for our family. This has worked the best for us and we are happy. Hopefully they and you will be too.

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Well, for what it is worth, here are my thoughts. I am a DIL who is currently having major IL problems, I'll admit, but I will try not to project. I agree with PPs about cutting out the money thing. When I got married I was 21, which was 8 years ago. We did not have financial help for anything, really. We have struggled and worked very hard. We don't have a lot to brag about, but what we do have, we have built together. I think that has streangthened our marriage. Obviously stop keeping score. You said yourself they live closer to her family anyway. It is not going to be even. And your DH is probably right, it still wouldn't be even if you lived nearby probably. Look at it this way: They likely hang out with their friends more than they hang out with you also. Probably even more than they hang out with her parents. You would never keep track of that. Also, you are right. It is hurting you way more than it is helping you. As far as her staying home, leave it alone. I'm sure the two of them have discussed it. And you are likely right that they don't have any idea the costs of a baby as you guys have not made them grow up and deal with their own finances. That being said, 60k is not that unreasonable. My DH made 36K our DDs first year. We still made the decision for me to stay home. It was really important to us that one of us was at home with her. Was it hard? Sure. But we have made it. We cut corners everywhere we could. I cloth diaper, so we don't have to spend tons on diapers. I am a coupon shopper, and I cook every night. When something is on sale, such as meat, I buy a lot and freeze it so that I don't have to buy it when it isn't on sale. They can do it if they put their minds to it. I'm just saying I found it very hurtful when my MIL or anyone for that matter would make comments about OUR choices for our family. This has worked the best for us and we are happy. Hopefully they and you will be too.

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Well, for what it is worth, here are my thoughts. I am a DIL who is currently having major IL problems, I'll admit, but I will try not to project. I agree with PPs about cutting out the money thing. When I got married I was 21, which was 8 years ago. We did not have financial help for anything, really. We have struggled and worked very hard. We don't have a lot to brag about, but what we do have, we have built together. I think that has streangthened our marriage. Obviously stop keeping score. You said yourself they live closer to her family anyway. It is not going to be even. And your DH is probably right, it still wouldn't be even if you lived nearby probably. Look at it this way: They likely hang out with their friends more than they hang out with you also. Probably even more than they hang out with her parents. You would never keep track of that. Also, you are right. It is hurting you way more than it is helping you. As far as her staying home, leave it alone. I'm sure the two of them have discussed it. And you are likely right that they don't have any idea the costs of a baby as you guys have not made them grow up and deal with their own finances. That being said, 60k is not that unreasonable. My DH made 36K our DDs first year. We still made the decision for me to stay home. It was really important to us that one of us was at home with her. Was it hard? Sure. But we have made it. We cut corners everywhere we could. I cloth diaper, so we don't have to spend tons on diapers. I am a coupon shopper, and I cook every night. When something is on sale, such as meat, I buy a lot and freeze it so that I don't have to buy it when it isn't on sale. They can do it if they put their minds to it. I'm just saying I found it very hurtful when my MIL or anyone for that matter would make comments about OUR choices for our family. This has worked the best for us and we are happy. Hopefully they and you will be too.

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Well, for what it is worth, here are my thoughts. I am a DIL who is currently having major IL problems, I'll admit, but I will try not to project. I agree with PPs about cutting out the money thing. When I got married I was 21, which was 8 years ago. We did not have financial help for anything, really. We have struggled and worked very hard. We don't have a lot to brag about, but what we do have, we have built together. I think that has streangthened our marriage. Obviously stop keeping score. You said yourself they live closer to her family anyway. It is not going to be even. And your DH is probably right, it still wouldn't be even if you lived nearby probably. Look at it this way: They likely hang out with their friends more than they hang out with you also. Probably even more than they hang out with her parents. You would never keep track of that. Also, you are right. It is hurting you way more than it is helping you. As far as her staying home, leave it alone. I'm sure the two of them have discussed it. And you are likely right that they don't have any idea the costs of a baby as you guys have not made them grow up and deal with their own finances. That being said, 60k is not that unreasonable. My DH made 36K our DDs first year. We still made the decision for me to stay home. It was really important to us that one of us was at home with her. Was it hard? Sure. But we have made it. We cut corners everywhere we could. I cloth diaper, so we don't have to spend tons on diapers. I am a coupon shopper, and I cook every night. When something is on sale, such as meat, I buy a lot and freeze it so that I don't have to buy it when it isn't on sale. They can do it if they put their minds to it. I'm just saying I found it very hurtful when my MIL or anyone for that matter would make comments about OUR choices for our family. This has worked the best for us and we are happy. Hopefully they and you will be too.

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"...They looked a rings with her parents and my son called to say that it cost little more than he thought it be ...was that OK?..." I said of course. Again why? Was it only $20 over the budget? Or much more? "...BUT...what hurt us is that they then went to a celebratory dinner the four of them my son his "wife to be" and Her parents! They were five minutes from my husbands office and never even Considered inviting us to dine with them or even toast the occasion!..." They'd spent the afternoon together and it morphed without forethought into a celebration. These things happen. I am sure the dinner was a natural outgrowth of the shopping. If you wanted to toast the occasion, why not invite them over on another occasion and do so? You are going to have to learn separation; you will not be included EVERY time they are together. They will not be included everytime the kids are with you. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Please do not keep score, do not allow yourself to become jealous. They have a RIGHT to an independent relationship with her family that does not include you. And you have the same right. And sometimes maybe you will all want to be together. I suspect you are envisioning a huge blossoming of YOUR family. But that's not what really happens, at least not at first. When a child marries, your family gets smaller--and a new family INDEPENDENT of your family forms. There is some alignment and a little overlap between the family--but DIL and her family are not grafted onto your family. "...When we told our son that we were a little hurt by this...his excuse was it wasn't intentionally done to hurt us!..." And I'm sure this is exactly true. Do you think he did it on purpose to hurt you? Do you understand why you were hurt? I'm not sure I understand, except that perhaps you had some unrealistic expectations, and probably thought that you had some ownership in the occasion since you bought the ring. It's worth exploring because... "...These things have happened repeatedly over and over!..." "...I worked my tail off putting their rehearsal dinner together..." You should only work as much as gives you pleasure. This after all was their occasion; it really was THEIR responsibility to work for their own wedding/party. "...always asking if this was OK did they like that...to make sure they got what they wanted!..." That's nice, and I'm sure they appreciated it, but I wonder to what extent you are a people pleasers (codependent); and think that there's a possibility you have some perfectionism or OCD going on. If they you haven't given them everything they wanted, would it have been a tragedy? If so, for whom? "... However the videographer forgot to show up and tape that event! I put together a HUGE Scrapbook of them as kids and then had a slide show DVD to watch during the rehearsal dinner! I was so disappointed that Everything was videotaped but what I worked so hard on!..." Was anyone else so disappointed that the only thing that wasn't videotaped was the rehearsal dinner? After all, there was the DVD and the HUGE scrapbook to remember the event, and I'm sure people took pictures. The videographer was too bad, but not worth allowing the evening or the memory of the evening to be ruined. It seems as though you want evidence that you were wonderful and did this wonderful thing. Be careful about this. Their wedding and certainly the rehearsal dinner was not about you, or even about how wonderful you made it. What you do, you need to do without pay off and recognition. If you can't do it without recognition (without becoming bitter), don't do it. Yes, everyone WANTS appreciation and recognition, but it can never be counted on. It often doesn't come the way you want and when you want it. Your son and DIL may not appreciate your generosity and kindness for a couple decades. Or ever. There's something about this that makes me think perhaps you do so much for others to fill your own needs. And this dinner missed the mark. You are afraid that the details of it will be forgotten, your part in it will be overlooked. That's not a gift to them--you've made it an obligation. If you do these things it should be because you are enjoying yourself the moment you are doing them; if no one ever thanks you did you still enjoy yourself? That's its own reward. If you do expect something back, either tell them what it is (I'll put on the best rehearsal dinner ever, but you have to name your first child after me--if I get the first Xmas--if you'll join me at a spa day when you get back from the honeymoon--whatever); or only do as much as you can do without expecting anything back. An aside: when you do so much all the time so often, people take it for granted. Not because they are bad selfish or exploitive, but because they become accustome to it and assume you do it because you like it and it comes easy for you. That's human nature, not lack of character.

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Why is it I'm being judged so Harshly and even being questioned that a we helped with the ring! BUT...know one thinks it's ODD that they lived with her parents for a year and a half to save money for a house? What am I missing? Why was that OK? As far as what I said about him falling in Love with her and me being Happy...I wanted you to know right off the Bat I was not bashing the DIL! I did Not feel she was an intrusion I was happy for them! And Yes I do take a lot of credit that he's a good man and that he was raised to treat women right! And I say that because Why is it if your kid ends up on drugs it's YOUR fault as parents...BUT if they turn out Good...Your LUCKY! Shouldn't I take the blame either way! Once again I appreciate all perspectives I posted because I wanted them! BUT...we all come from different places and backgrounds that's why people are easily riled at one thing and others relate or agree! And if they called me MOM because they wanted too because they felt comfortable ....why is that a bad thing! There are posters that want to call the MIL MOM...she was given the choice and I respected that she did not want too! As far as me setting them up for a HIGH life style it was her family that had them buying English Antiques from their nephews store! And registering for Waterford Crystal! My husband and I do Not own Waterford they are the ones who like to take in their little WINE case with their engraved name on it to go to dinner! I some what suspect that's why they don't invite us because we can afford this and don't and they like to do it....meaning my sons inlaws! BUT..I don't care it's their business! I just trying to let you know I don't push that! I have friends that won't go to Walmart! Because they were poor growing up! So now their sons in golf lessons at seven! I shop where I want too mainly amazon.com They bought (her parents) bobby and sally designer custom fit sunglasses from rodeo drive for their last Birthday! I'm not trying to trash them just trying to let you see the whole picture here! I'm a pragmatic giver...Too often I know!

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"...My gifts to my son...got accidentally thrown out this past Christmas by accident...." Do you think it wasn't an accident? If so, why do you suppose your son would throw out your gifts (not one much several) on purpose? Or are you going to blame your DIL. I gotta say, I'm surprised you keep track of the gifts you give your son and even know they were thrown out. I don't think I'd know which of my gifts to my kids were thrown out, broken, lost, regifted. Sometimes I see glimpses of some things, other things I've given I guess I've never seen again. I'm sitting here thinking about it, and have to say I have no idea what the fate of my gifts to my sons are, specially if they are 27, and living in their own home 1200 from me. Give a gift and let it go. You'll be happier. "...I work so hard trying to find things for my kids at Christmas!.." This is nice. But work no harder than what feels privately good to you. It is hard to buy gifts for young men who seem to have everything and really don't want much--at least not from mom. My sons are hard to buy for too. We do the best we can. But again--watch the people pleasing. And the expectations of reward. You are working so hard (with an exclamation point!!!) for some reward, and it's not just to see his pleasure (altho I'm sure that's part of it). You are looking for something in return. Be honest with yourself what it is. Understand, you cannot buy love, loyalty or insurance against lonliness/abandonment/rejection with gifts. "...I always buy the same amount and spend the same amount on both of them!..." Both or them? Not all of them? I assume you are referring to your son and daughter? Or are you referring to your son and DIL? It's wonderful you spend the same on them both if it's your son and DIL. You are a good, kind woman. But don't spend more than you can afford, and don't make yourself crazy getting the perfect gift. There is no such thing. "...When they moved for my son to go to Law School I went with them because they asked me too and they got to pick out and buy furniture and we gave them the money so they could make the payments yet build their credit...." Would they have asked you if you didn't buy them anything? "...Our parents never helped us I sometimes think I should of let them struggle a little..." I think so too. At least then you'd know for sure whether you were invited for yourself or for your wallet. "...But they're both good people and we wanted to help!.." I'm a good person too. If I send you my address, will you send me money for furniture. I live in a resort area. You can come visit and I promise to be very grateful and appreciative of what you give me. My sons are good people too... Seriously, you gave them money to make payments so they could build their credit? Who's building the credit? You or them? Do you see you are infantalizing your son? HE needs to be the one to budget and build credit. He won't be able to sustain it if he doesn't build it himself. However, when you withdraw the money, he might 'need' you to help him clean up the mess he makes having never actually learned himself. Please let these young adults figure out adult tasks themselves. It's vital for their growth, happiness and self esteem. To be 27 and having your mommy tell you how to build credit is a problem. Either he doesn't need to know and you are being annoying; or he does need to know and you are about 10-15 years late with the lesson.

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"...We also continued to pay our married sons car and insurance payments and sent them money to help them afford a nice townhouse because they could not afford that on her nursing salary..." Nurses do well. They would have managed. They were not the only married couple with one partner in law school. Did you ever think you deprived them of some good memories. My first place had a kitchen so small if you extended your arms you touched both walls. Pivot 45 degrees and you touched the other two walls. And it had palmetto bugs 2 inches long (flying roaches). One night I woke in the middle of the night to rustling--it was not a mouse or rat--but a ROACH? Once I looked out the only window and saw two people in the alley (this was Richmond VA). They exchanged clothing. I thought it was weird. Later someone less naive told me they were probably criminals of some kind on the run changing their description so they could get out of the area where they'd just commited a crime. It was colorful. I'd always grown up in beautiful upper middle class suburbs. This was very interesting to me. I didn't want it forever, but I'm glad I had it then. Stop protecting your son from reality. If they are poor students, let them be poor students. It won't kill them. "...Basically we are Very pragmatic givers! We knew Law school would be so stressful so we we wanted them living comfortably!..." I could question whether you were pragmatic or enabling and infantalizing. And what's wrong with stress? It's a good thing to learn to manage. How long are you going to buffer your sweet little baby boy from the realities of life, things like budgets, and stress, and being poor?

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Donna - you say this isn't about gifts with string attached, yet you are disappointed about the ring/dinner, house furnishings/no visits, school loans/moving far away. It sure sounds like you expect SOMETHING in return for all the help you've given. And for someone who claims it's not about the money, you sure do know a lot of financial details; how do you know your son's and DIL's salaries? And how do you know her parents' income? Unless you are their tax preparer, you know too much about their finances, and it's hurting your relationship.

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I really havent seen many harsh remarks, Donna. You may think I am being harsh now, but after reading your last response, I sense a lot of jealousy on your part. Excuse me if I am wrong, but why does it matter if they take their ENGRAVED wine containers with them? And I see nothing wrong with them living with her parents to save money for a house, as long as it worked for them, be happy!

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so you're giving them OMGEVERYTHING and her parents are giving them OMGEVERYTHING... where in there does it say that these two young people are being allowed to do ANYTHING for themselves?!

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While I expected thoughts and inputs! I feel some what on trial here! Ginnie I did not keep track of his gifts! They had boxes in her garage while they were living there...His gifts and some of hers mostly his were shipped back to them because of the Luggage rules/restrictions. My son went looking for one of the items and was very upset and called me because the box got set to the street as garbage. BUT...my point was it's always happen to me or us! It's just kinda weird! I have not blamed them for like the video guy or been upset with them...I mentioned that maybe it's God's way of getting my attention as corny as that may sound! I wish I had found this message board 8 years ago! I would have like the input! I have never been closed minded and tend to blame myself first! And as far as Jealousy Ahhh.NO....I was trying to explain that I was NOT promoting "uppity" behavior! These people live in a tiny town not the big city and even in the Big city I have not seen people do that! LOL! I do think people are somewhat projecting on me! But I asked for input and will take what's useful! Ginni THANKS...you really seem to care... If only you women could of be here for me 8 years ado I could of spent all the money taking all of us on a cruse! OOOPs no that's being codependent and an enable! My Bad! LOL (0= I'm learning....I Like myself I Like my kids! Funny thing is my DIL is JUST LIKE ME in a lot of ways! And I'm flattered by that! I think if we all examined every move we made like people are examining me right now...People would be pretty frozen in their tracks...WE all try to do the best we can! As far as counseling...I go when necessary...of course if she's my age she will see more the MIL way and if she's young she will see the DIL way.... I don't like conflict and I hate for anyone to feel bad...I'm sure that is as mucg Bad if not more than good!

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"...Her parents are big on expensive dining and taking wine to dinners much more uppity even though our income is 4 times more than theirs!..." So? Are you going to start managing her parents' budget as well? And start watching the judgmental attitude. They are uppity? Then you don't like them? Well, if you don't like them because they are uppity and don't live within their means and don't do dinner properly or the way you think they should--why on earth are you hurt that you weren't invited to dinner when they bought the engagement ring? Do you understand the contradiction: you don't like these uppity people you disapprove of but are offended when they don't include you to dinner. Perhaps this attitude on your part is part of the reason they don't think to include you; do not ever assume people are unaware of someone else's disapproval and judgmentalism. People know and generally don't want to be around it. Something to think about. "...They registered for Waterford Crystal as wedding gifts! They buy English antiques from her cousins store!..." So wedding guests are only going to buy the waterford chrystal if they want to, and if they want to spend the money to buy the bride and groom chrystal why should you care? You bought them a house, a ring, furniture, and pay their car insurance for them. Heck, waterford chrystal is cheap compared to that. You are treading on thin ice here. As for buying from their cousin's antique store? Why do you care? Are they only allowed to get furniture from you? Or do you disapprove of her taste in english antiques? Or weren't you included in the selection? Or are you of the opinion you are in charge of their checkbook and should be the one to decide what they spend money on? Maybe if they weren't given car insurance, rings, furniture and a house, they wouldn't have the cash to buy furniture you don't approve of. Or is the 'they' her parents? You disapprove of how the parents' are spending their money. You can buy them furniture but how dare her parents do the same!!!! What are you upset about here? "...I mention this because I feel while we tried to help them out an make their life Easier Her Parents get to be the "fun" parents!..." You pay car insurance, they pay for english antiques? You are pragmatic, they are fun. They should be like you, pragmatic. How dare they get the kids things they want and which give them pleasure to give!!! Should they perhaps clear their purchases for the kids with you so you don't feel upstaged? This competitiveness and jealousy will cause a lot of damage in your relationship with your son and DIL and her family. You want to be one big happy family with everyone doing things together? Then drop the jealousy and competition. And again, examine why you are buying so much for them? To be the 'better' parents? You expect something back, and are frustrated that not only are you not getting it, but somehow DIL's parents seem to be winning. Why does their buying frustrate and upset you when it has NOTHING to do with you at all? You want to buy the fun stuff? Then buy the fun stuff and let your son purchase the basics of his own life: housing, education, transportation, engagement rings, stress relief, whatever.

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"...They bought a house 30 minutes away from her parents we live 1200 miles away! We asked why not consider Living by us?..." I'm sure they considered it. But maybe it wasn't really very much about you. Maybe it was about jobs and the local amenities. Or maybe it was because they are the 'fun' parents, and you are a bit anxious and overwhelming and seem to expect alot and cause stress for them because you are hurt about this, and disappointed about that, and disapproving of this, and judgemental about that and have an opinion about how other people should spend their money, and eat their dinners, and give gifts. And you seem to expect a lot in return. "...We got transferred 4 years ago!..." How is this your son's or DIL's fault? How are they in any way responsible for compensating you for the distance your husband's job put in? Do you expect them to follow you around the country? You get transferred, so now they have to transfer? How often? If it was so important to you to be near them, why did you transfer? This is not their fault, responsibility, or problem. In any way. "...My husband says if we live close to them the pain would be More because they would still spend much more time with her parents and it would be More noticeable!..." Then thank goodness you are far away. Because keeping score and feeling pain over it will do nothing but cause trouble and hard feelings and resentment--and not just on your part. Again--why does it cause you pain that they spend time with them? My son and his fiancee spend about 4 times the time with her family than they do with us, it does not cause pain. When I want to see him or them, I call him or her up and invite them over. I say, "I haven't seen you for a while, want to come over and play Scrabble, go out to dinner, see a movie, going shooting, play pool, watch Harry Potter (it's our thing), see a movie...etc... It's fun, so they come. Maybe not on command (they have lives), but if I say, I haven't seen you in a while, they make time for me, or I for them (her parents and I are good friends, so sometimes we go to their house). I have never felt a moments pain because technically they spend more time there. Never once. Cannot imagine it. "...Please NOTE...we have a Great time when we are together there's no strain I don't nag her I cater to her!..." How do you feel about 'catering' to her? It's wonderful you have a great time. Keep it up. "...They see her parents for every holiday Mother's Day ...Fathers Day etc!..." Maybe because they live 1200 miles from you? Would that have anything to do with it? I bet it does. It doesn't make them bad. Surely you don't expect them to jump on the plane and visit you for Mother's day and then a month later again for Father's day.

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"...They want use to pay their 120K Law school loans but they never even considered moving by US!..." First of all, when you buy them their wedding ring, their house, their furniture and then pay for their car insurance and worry about building their credit and their stress levels (poor little delicate things they are), they are NOT out of line to expect you to pay you son's law school. You set up this expectation. That doesn't mean you have to pay it, but it does mean you have to understand your part of the responsibility in creating a son who sees you as an ATM (among other things). And why is the law school money juxataposed with the complaint they didn't follow you when you transfered and moved away? Because there is a part of you who thinks they should have because you've done so much for them. That they owe you proximity and loyalty. You are indignant, hurt and resentful, because you ensnared them in a secret contract: you'd provide bountifully, but they were to stay enmeshed. Instead, they individuated and became independent from you--and you feel betrayed. But they are the ones who grew, they are right. Money cannot buy what you are looking for.

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"...Now we find out that even though she made 85K last year doing home nursing that she is not going to work any more she wants to be a stay at home mother! She wants to be pregnant yesterday! They are BOTH 27 years old!..." 27 seems like a great age to have a first child. I had my first at 28. I don't know by your exclamation point whether you think they are too old or too young to have a baby. But it's not your business. And for pete's sake, why shouldn't they have a baby? They make about $145K a year, have a house, furniture, two great careers, a long term marriage, etc... they are perfectly set up for it. And why do you care if they want her to be a stay at home mother? It's not your business. It's not your business how much she made last year or how much she could make if she stayed employed. If you don't want to supplement their lifestyle anymore, they'll figure it out. Nurses have great flexibility. She'll shift work or work parttime or stay at home and they will--gasp--budget and--horrors--live on their own income!!! Will it be a shock? Probably, but it's one you set them up for. And I'm sure they'll figure it out. And I suspect when they do, your nose will be out of joint. You want them to do things YOUR way, chose jobs that please you, have a baby when you think they should, live in a location you choose, spend their money your way, choose furnishings that make sense to you, structure their family in the way you think best. This is controling behavior. It doesn't matter if you mean well, or really believe you know what is best for them. It's still controlling behavior. It's time for you to let go. Stop being judgmental, hurt, disappointed, indignant, jealous, resentful. Let go. They'll be fine. You on the otherhand may find you feel terrifyingly empty or very anxious, or frightened. This is something you need to work on. Let go of them, and grab hold of yourself. I sort of wonder if the same way you use money to buffer and shelter and divert your son and DIL, you use money to do that for yourself. There's clear codependency and enmeshment going on here. Letting going is going to feel a lot like being a cojoined twin and being ripped away from the other. But being separate is better. Being yourself not just a part of a larger whole is better. It's time to let go.

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WOW...please calm down! I get your points I'm listening but there are always two sides! I'm human...If you talk to your DIL'S this way my GOD! The rules were set up this way and I played the game! I tried to Help...I tried to explain when I was Crusified for giving them unrealistic help! I'm not trying to tell them what to buy or not to buy.. You have most of you attacked me for giving too much..yet then you attack me again when I try to say at least my giving is pragmatic! I'm attacked for judging her parents are doing far worse things to set them up for failure! PLEASE...why are you so on to me! And they have done a lot on their own I don't wipe their back sides when they poo... They are BOTH type one diabetics....That's how they met! Do you have a clue how difficult it is to be a Type one diabetic? I'm sure that is partly why both her parents and us have helped them! I on here to get insight! And though some have tried to be honest and not attack...I thought this was a place for us to come help each other! I'm listening I'm learning I have opened myself up here but I expected kindness! If you want to VENT right your own blog...good grief.... PLEASE the very fact that I'm on here makes me better than most MIL because I care enough to hear other people stories!

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You say that you wish you had known about this board 8 years ago, and that you go to counseling when you think it is necessary. Do you what to be unhappy 8 years from now? I think you should talk to a counselor. Aside from everything going on with your son, you have a complicated problem I really think you would benefit from professional guidance with. You have a 20 year old daughter. What are you going to do now? Repeat the same scenario you have with your son? That didn't seem to work out well. So, then, do you give her less and let her struggle and find her own way? What happens whens he points out that it isn't "fair" and that you spent tens of thousands on her brother and not on her? What about "her" furniture? What about her rent-free living in a nice townhouse? Do you see what I'm saying? I have no idea what the answer to this is, but you need to tread carefully, and I think you need help because it is a mess. I'd hate for your daughter to end up feeling jealous/resentful/angry/unloved/etc. But, what do you do about her now? This whole issue is more far-reaching than I think we're getting at here. I don't know what the solution is, but I hope you can find someone to help you figure it out.

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"...My son makes in the low 60K range ....We had never heard she had planned on quitting her job the minute our son got one until just this past week!..." Why should you? It's not your business. They don't need or WANT your approval. You have not been betrayed. They are not keeping secrets from you. This is something between a husband and wife. It doesn't include you. "...I went there to help again with the new house they had saved money for the down payment on their house....they did this by living with her parents for a year and a half!..." Good, they saved and planned and budgeted. Very good!!!! "...That was hard they had dinners every night took weekend trips together etc!..." Hard on them, or hard on you? You really need to watch the jealousy. What do you care what people sharing a household 1200 miles away are doing? It was hard on you, and your jealousy didn't hurt them one bit. So why hold on to it? It didn't change anyhting, it only make you unhappy. So why hold onto it? Maybe it's time to learn a new way of managing your feelings and relationships? Maybe you would benefit from some therapy? "...Her parents have Never invited us to visit them or share holidays..." Well, you don't approve of them. You think they are uppity, and are jealous and competitive and don't like how they dine or spend their money. They aren't interested in living their lives for your approval. Sorry. "... when my son and his wife come for Christmas it's a 2 day turn around! Even when we've been in their town for Thanksgiving we dined out and were not invited to join them at her families house!..." Even though you have sooo much fun together, cater to her and never nag (altho you have told them how hurt you are, how disappointed, etc... because you've said so in this thread). "...Keep in mind they her parents got to enjoy them living there for a year and a half!..." So? Do you think they now have to give YOU a year and a half? Or maybe two years since you spent more money on them? "...They asked that I come help them with their new house they were painting doing floors updating fixtures..." Again, did they want you for yourself or for your money? You don't know and won't know until you cut off the money flow. "...and I know I went overboard I helped by buying them new light fixtures, door handles, misc. everything ...which was several thousand dollars!..." Whose fault is that? DO you have impulse control problems? If not, how do you account for overspending? "...We've yet to see their finished house..." Their finished house is 1200 miles away and they either both have careers or he has a career and she is newly pregnant and not working. You'll see it. What did you expect by buying several thousand dollars of fixtures? That you would have a claim to a part of their house? Again, WHY are you spending so much money on these adults?

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WOW...that's it... Yes i have actually discussed this with a counselor and my 20 year old daughter! And I've explained this fairness thing with my son! WOW....really just WOW! Thanks to all you've managed to run me off! I will end with this my guess is the people attacking me the most and assuming the worst and are taking pleasure thinking your helping me...I think there's a lot of projecting going on! EVERYONE who comes on here come from different backgrounds! And while I admit I came here to see some insights unfortunately I also see a lot of people giving advice that ALSO need to get a Life! That need to see a counselor! That need to chill out! I think the term misery loves company and your so unhappy you get some kind of joy attack other people setting them straight etc... We all come from different social backgrounds and economic backgrounds! Any one who has common sense knows not to attack and judge if your really are trying to help! I knew I was giving way too much! That's the point....It's not easy the boundaries change we have to be concerned for our son's and their wives... And we should all have open communication! I came here because I had a 8 year build up! And rather than be upset with them! Try to see what I could do better! Good Lord...wow....have nice evening everybody!

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1.) I knew before I wrote this I was guilty of giving to much! 2.) I knew that my keeping score was only hurting me! I know this is a common thing MIL do! And some DIL to now that you have mentioned it! It's hard not to especially if your a fairness person! I go out of my way to make others not feel left out! If anyone thinks that's a fault then being kind is a bad thing...I can't agree! 3.) I wanted input but it's not about shooting the messenger...for me it's about the delivery of what you say! 4.) If you take shots at people that's venting! By shots I mean words that are attacking! 5.) I would never attack another person on the this Forum! 6.) I was trying to share to get some reflection! 7.) If you respond to this Topic....because you need to attack or go vent on someone! Please know that I've read enough! I won't be reading! 8.) THANKS to those of you that really cared enough to "hear" me and understand the biggest problem with most people being upset is they don't feel Heard! 9.) Thanks to those who could relate and try to give me insight! I wrote at the beginning of my post to PLEASE be kind! I think you have to be pretty Fragile to share with strangers! I feel about a 40/60 split here by that I mean Instead of trying to find good you are only looking for fault and blame! Why would anyone want to post if they are going to be put on trial? No one has raped, murdered or commit a unthinkable act! We're all on here because we want things to be easier better! At least that's why I posted! I was not on here to be told I was 100% right I knew that! I was not on here to trash my son or his wife or anyone! What started out as people trying to help ended with some posters taking my post and taking it a part! My final post and I won't be on this sight any more! Thanks again to those who gave me some insight!

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the truly happy MsIL and DsIL aren't on the internet, they're enjoying their relationships. The internet is made for people to work their problems out together. You asked for input but you defended your stance and how right you were whenever someone tried to show you how it COULD be taken. You don't seem to have wanted those differing opinions, you wanted someone to tell you how right you are to be upset that two adults are forming their own family unit and making choices for themselves

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Donna, I know you said you were going to stop reading this thread but just in case you change your mind... I'm sorry if you felt "judged" by some of the posters here. While a few came on a little stronger than others, though, I don't really see any posts that "attacked" you. (If there are, please show me where.) Mostly, they've just been trying to help you see what you need to do to improve the situation and what attitudes you might need to change. You probably don't agree with everything that's been said. You certainly don't have to. But hopefully, you've gotten something helpful out of all that's been posted here. Frankly, I don't blame you and DH for all the spending you've done. Nor do I blame DS and DIL for some of the spending they've asked you to do, especially since they were used to financial help from both sets of parents. While it may not be the best idea, you're not the first parents I've known who paid for their FDIL's engagement ring, for example. And I can see where, if many of your friends have done the same for their kids, it might seem like par for the course to you, DS and DIL. Paying for Law School - or asking parents to pay for it - is not the worst or most unusual thing in the world, either. Wanting to become a lawyer is a good thing - most parents take pride in a DS or DD with such a goal and I've known many parents who paid or helped pay for it, if they could afford it. You don't have to if you'd rather not. And of course, shouldn't if you don't have the money (but your posts suggest you do). Nor do I think it's a good idea if DD ends up having to sacrifice in some way. (I'm saying this b/c you keep suggesting that things are somehow unfair to her.) But it's not some horrible, unheard-of thing to do. But what does concern me is that you've paid for so many other things that either don't seem necessary (to me) or that are unusual. For example, DS and DIL asked you to come and help them when they were painting, etc and you ended up paying for light fixtures, and so on. How did that happen? Did they ask you or did you offer? Why would you go there to help with the work and end up spending several thousand dollars? I'm NOT asking this to criticize you but to help you see an area you might want to explore with that counselor, if you haven't already. Also, I'm wondering if it would be easier for you to cut back the flow of money if you were to identify things you're still willing to pay for and those you're not - and then only stop spending on the second list? You know, rather than just stopping cold, if you know what I mean. What concerns me even more, though, is that your giving DOES seem to come with expectations, even though you don't seem to see it. That for example, that you mention, IN ONE BREATH, the fact that DS and DIL want money for Law School but (allegedly) never thought about moving near you and DH SHOWS that, on some level, you do expect something in return for what you spend. Clearly, you never stated any such conditions - I get that. But they're there, somewhere, in your head (or heart), even so. In other words, I'm sorry, honey, but there ARE strings attached to your gifts, it's just that they're the "invisible" kind. In fact, paying for someone's school doesn't mean that they have to move and go to school near you, UNLESS you state that as a condition and they agree to it. Nor does spending a lot of money on someone's new house mean they're going to invite you over, right away (though I would), again UNLESS you made a kind of deal that said, in effect, "I'll buy things for your house if you invite me over, as soon as everything's done." But - admirably - you and DH didn't set any such conditions on your help. Therefore, though, you can't expect them to materialize, anyhow. As for all the events that only seem to affect you and DH - I'm no theology expert but I very much doubt that God punishes people for helping their kids. If parents have been enabling, their DSs and DDs constant demands, etc., provide their own "punishment." I can't imagine God throwing in a forgetful videographer or some misplaced boxes to drive the point home. I hope I don't sound as if I'm making fun of your concern. I'm just trying to reassure you that all this is just coincidence and not about your relationship with God.

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