The Better I Do , The More I'm Pushed Out

Can't believe I am totally cut out of my only son's life and now can't see either of my grandchildren.  I was a wonderful grandma to his daughter from a teen pregnancy, even sharing custody with her mother every other weekend for years while my son was in the military.  I was the primary babysitter for 2 years after he married 4 years ago and had a second child. 

Now the reason given for cutting me out - I showed sadness this Mother's Day when I had to push my husband to schedule something with my son.  I received a small card with no sentiment and a crushed bouquet from the gas station but only on Saturday because all the other women in my daughter-in-law's life had plans on Mother's Day.

But of course it is deeper and more complex than that.  Things got off to a rocky start when we met her parents and her father became drunk and abusive to her mother and I had to step in when her father advanced on my granddaughter.  I lost respect for her parents then, but shouldn't have voiced it.  Then her parents wouldn't commit to planning or financing the wedding and my son insisted I take over even though I knew it would put a target on my back.  This caused her mother to push me out without a word, even though we ended up paying for more than half the wedding, the grooms dinner and the honeymoon.  I paid for the flowers, so they left them in the sanctuary at the church.  I designed, created, addressed and stamped the invitations - they replaced the addresses with tacky labels and a different stamp.  They paid for the photographer, so we were allowed 5 pictures to their 50.  At the bridal shower, they placed my teen granddaughter next to my DIL's mother and made me eat alone in the dining room.  When I used the restroom, they brought me my purse and thanked me for coming.  I wasn't invited to her baby shower.  I have bent over backwards to negotiate with them from a friendly position, given in many times to keep peace but have always been treated rudely.

I was told none of my family could come over to their house for the little one's birthday.  I could come over the day before Easter, but could not go to church with them or come over Easter Sunday.  We celebrated Xmas the weekend before because her family stayed at their house and celebrated Xmas.  Just don't understand why they keep treating us like this.

My DIL thinks of herself as a very strategic thinker and her family loves to competitively play games.  She knows my husband is very intelligent, but thought her and her mother could beat him in a game of stategy (no way).   Don't think she lacks self-esteem - just the inverse, and think she get's her way by being passive aggressive which she obviously learned well from her family.  She sees herself as being very clever, has worked patiently to keep pushing me out little by little and is now happy to finally have won by pushing me out of their lives totally.  I think she was jealous that my granddaughters loved me so much.  She just couldn't share love.  If the little one reached out for me when they came over, she would express jealousy.

Can't understand why I keep trying to do the right thing yet her family can do no wrong.  She's immature and lacks compassion, but knows she has the power and is using it to get the life she envisions, even if she has to make me the villain and hurt me to get it.  She's blocked most of my access to their web pages and removed all trace of me from photo albums.  Just can't understand how a family that treats people like this is protected and I am attacked.  Don't understand why my son doesn't stand up for me.  Think he is tired of the conflict.

I've been calling my son just to tell him I love him and wish him Happy Holidays.  He doesn't pick up and doesn't call back.  Gonna ask to drop off presents for the kids for Xmas since we live fairly close but am very nervous and just so sad.  I think all hope is gone and I just have to live this way.  So have offered to help babysit others to fill the void and have begun planning my life without family, but nothing will ever replace the one thing I wanted most - to be loved and respected as a good mother and grandmother.


twinkling twinkling 51-55, F 4 Responses Dec 13, 2009

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Well, I could certainly relate to the wedding photographer part of your story. DIL's folks hired a photographer for the wedding who took like 500 pictures. I had budgeted $2,000 for wedding pictures - and since 99% of the photos were of the bride and her family, I ended up spending $200, mostly for one photo of the bride and groom and one photo of our family.

Your stories are so sad and I feel for you. What did your sons do for you on Mother's day before they married and had children? My guess, and it's just a guess, is that they didn't do much and probably forgot most years. Are you guys looking to blame your DIL for everything? Life is too short and if you guys can't all find a way to make it work, perhaps you should get on with your life. Your sons have made these choices too. We all like to think that they just don't want the conflict. The truth is that they don't have the guts to tell you the truth. My inlaws blame me for my family being sick all the time, obviously I don't take care of them, little do they know that their son doesn't want to see them so he lies about us all being sick. And twinkling, by reading your post I really wondered if you weren't maybe a bit over competitive for your grandchildren's love and attention, there by creating a much bigger problem and what you may be percieving as gealousy is nothing more than a mother being irritated by a grandmother. Also, if you feel like responding, I am very curious to know what your relationship with your mother in law was like. BTW, you don't talk like someone who is a "wonderful grandma".

oh my gosh, your story is so simulair to mine it's amazing, only on mothers day i get a phone call, no flowers, no card. My DIL has my son convienced that mothers day is al about her as are the other holidays. Who ever said when your son marrys you gain a daughter was dead wrong. she believes and now he believes "she" is his family now. It breaks my heart, My son also spent time in the military and servered three tours in Iraq. I could not have neen more proud of him but since his discharge and marriage two years ago I don't even know who he is anymore. I have not spoke to him in four month and he lives within a 30 minute drive from me. I wake up with tears every morning because I let another day go buy without seeing or speaking to my son. Life is too short to get those days back but I cannot and will not impose where I am obviously not wanted. This past mothers day i did not pick up the phone when he called. I have so much resent meant that I could not pretend yes I am having a wonderful mothers day when it was again all about his wife. In my heart i just wanted to say why don't you just mark off on your calander mothers day and re-write WIFE DAY since that is what he really celebrates.

There is no pain like it, is there? Grandchildren who you adore yet are not allowed access to, a son who you raised to be decent and nice and yet has to act indifferent towards you just to keep the peace. I feel for you and wish you well.