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To tell my friend to stop whining about her son & DiL?

(21 Posts)
SouthernGran62 Thu 15-Jan-15 00:37:52

I'm after some opinions on a situation I'm in with a good friend.
I'll try to keep it brief but it is quite a complicated affair! She has 3 sons, one of whom is 17 and still at home, unattached. One lives overseas with his girlfriend of quite a few years. The eldest lives with his wife and kids. The eldest has 2 girls just gone 4 & almost 1 and my friend and her hubby have nothing to do with them, no contact.
My friend is heartbroken about this, as I would be and if it were not her fault or within her control to change then I'd have endless sympathy. But I'm sorry to say that my friend in all honesty is not innocent in all of this. She made her poor son and DiLs life a misery when they're first child was born, totally overbearing and controlling, the kind of MiL my daughters would have hated. they reacted as most new parents would, totally recoiling but in fairness to them they had it out and my friend promised them she would tone it back. She did as shed said but took the huff with them, really spat the dummy. After some months there was a big fall the years since there have been a few reconciliations then fall out again. Son and DiL tried to reconcile again 2 years ago, really asking my friend and hubby to wipe slate clean and saying they wanted to be a loving family again, practically begged them to be part of GCS life which I felt was more than generous of them as my friend and her hubby had often not behaved as they 'should' have (don't get me wrong nor had son and DiL but it certainly was a good mix) they got on well prior to the children arriving. Her husband decided they would not be having any involvement with their son/DiL/GC. Their 2nd baby girl has since arrived, we've just had Christmas etc. They have not so much as sent a card for their GC and have never even met 2nd GD.
The problem is, my friend often, and I mean often, complains/cries etc to me about it and up until now I've tried just to listen and remain impartial, but I'm growing increasingly cross with her as I feel it's really been their decision. Their son tried to reach out to them and they declined and have since made no effort to reconnect, so I'm feeling more and more inclined to say 'if you don't like it, change it, or if you're not going to them stop complaining' (in perhaps a nicer, more gentle way!) would that be unreasonable? I have 7 GC and cannot imagine not being part of their lives and know only too well how fast they grow. I feel they're cutting off their noses....!!

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 15-Jan-15 00:44:30

What's your goal? Because not wanting to hear about it is one thing. But wanting her to have some amazing epiphany and realise that she has been an idiot is another!

Birdsgottafly Thu 15-Jan-15 00:49:52

Not it wouldn't be unreasonable.

As a new recent Grandmother, I couldn't imagine not wanting to be a part of my Granddaughters life.

They have a Son, who must be grieving about this situation and will have two children wondering why their Grandparents don't want to know them. Their DIL has to watch her partner suffer.

Well done to your friend for spoiling what should be the most exciting time in her Sons life.

They are a pair of selfish arses who need to look at the bigger picture and finally grow up.

cheeseandfickle Thu 15-Jan-15 00:54:58

It would drag me down being friends with someone like her, especially if she is getting upset about the situation regularly but not doing anything to rectify it.

I'd probably distance myself tbh.

SorchaN Thu 15-Jan-15 01:23:53

Maybe if you tell her what you really think, she'll actually listen. It might confirm that she's at least as much to blame as her son and daughter-in-law. A friend might be better able to get through to her than a family member. And if she refuses to listen to you or sees you as part of the problem, then may it is time to back away from the friendship.

maras2 Thu 15-Jan-15 01:28:34

WTF could cause a row so bad that a grandmother has no contact with grandchildren?I could not imagine this whasoever.I could not be friends with someone so shallow and unpleasant.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Thu 15-Jan-15 01:33:46

A mil by stealth thread. Excellent grin

Seriously, you should tell her but be prepared for her to lose it with you and demonstrate similar behaviour. She's clearly very blinkered regarding this issue.

HowCanIMissYouIfYouWontGoAway Thu 15-Jan-15 06:39:36

Oh yes, in your shoes I'd certainly tell her to stop whining because it's her that it's her own doing. And a pretty crappy way to treat your son and his family.

If she falls out with you, then she falls out with you. Seems like that's her pattern. It's childish and manipulative.

Or maybe, just maybe, someone else telling her might get through to her.

FatChanceCafe Thu 15-Jan-15 06:47:37

It would get me down.I would have to ssy something or avoif this person.If she chose to react badly so be it.It would probably be a releif anyway.I dont think I would actually have people around me who would either be like that or felt I couldn't say anything too

FatChanceCafe Thu 15-Jan-15 06:49:15

Sorry.Spelling and grammer is rubbish on that one.

DixieNormas Thu 15-Jan-15 07:01:25

Her husband decided? What did your friend think about it, no way would my husband decide if I spoke to my son or not

eurochick Thu 15-Jan-15 07:06:20

It sounds to me like she disagreed with her husband's approach but for whatever reason won't stand up to him. She might need support and encouragement to do that.

Ememem84 Thu 15-Jan-15 07:30:05

I'd want to know why she can't stand up to her husband.

It sounds like it was his decision.

Babycham1979 Thu 15-Jan-15 07:43:28

Tell her to post on AIBU for advice. That way, she gets to vent her spleen without depressing you, we get to disabuse her of her fantasy that she's completely innocent in all this, AND you get to anonymously give her what for!


FinallyHere Thu 15-Jan-15 08:41:48

How about the MN phrase 'what are you going to do about it?'

Stinkle Thu 15-Jan-15 09:28:53

YANBU to tell her. You never know, hearing it from someone on the outside of the original fallout may make her reconsider her own behaviour.

We have a difficult relationship with MiL but generally brush it under the carpet and smile sweetly on high-days and holidays but a few years ago she got the huff over the most ridiculous thing ever and we had a major falling out and she refused to speak to us it was bliss

She used to bitch and moan to DH's sister constantly, mainly that it was my fault, until one day SiL got totally sick of hearing it and told her a few home truths.

SouthernGran62 Sun 18-Jan-15 16:33:40

Good point terry I think that would be my goal, would be good to lower my expectations!

birds I think that's why I struggle so much, I agree, nothing would make me not want to be part of my GC life, or my sons at that!!

Everyone asking what's caused this fall out, not much!! My friend and her son & DiL clashes lots during gd1s first few months, as I've said IMO mostly due to my friends silly behaviour. Perhaps a touch pfb from the parents but nothing major. Then as time went on I think her son grew tired of giving 2nd chances. Instead of making friends with DIL who appeared to be trying to talk her husband/my friends son round a lot, she sadly chose to take the view, it's all her/my son would do this/ he'd want to bottle feed so the baby can be left with me (at 2 weeks old?!)/ he'd want us to have her overnight (at 4weeks old)/ he'd want us to go round every other day, unannounced, for hours on end/ but it's just DiL who won't allow it. I think this was genuinely untrue (my daughters know her son and seem to believe it's he who has grown tired after years of his mum interfering etc) so eventually DiL stopped defending them. After the reconciliations my friend would try hard for a week or two to act more kindly, then revert to quite self obsessed/unreasonable behaviour. She eventually saw the error of her ways I think, and realised it was getting her nowhere. Then her husband and son had an almighty row at our house actually!! Where her husband basically told their son that he should do as they want, respect their wishes. The son said respects a two way street and we need boundaries etc the dad replied you knew us (parents) before them (wife and child!!!) we should come first!!!! Unthinkable to me. Unsurprisingly they didn't soeak for a year after that. Then the son & DiL tried to make amends again which was when friends dh said no. I can't believe that my friend didn't argue but she insists her husband is in the right, son and DiL in the wrong.

The problem is, and for everyone saying they'd not see them, they are lovely people. I know it's hard to believe! But they'd help anyone, they're kind , loving, great company. It's just this one thing. So sad.

I think I will say something the next time she mentions it, thanks for all replies, I just wanted to check it wasn't a 'it's not your business, stay out of it' situation! Thanks all

TheyLearnedFromBrian Sun 18-Jan-15 17:32:49

They're not lovely people though.

The test of whether you're a lovely person or not isn't how you are when nothing is being asked of you, like when you meet friends for coffee, or when things are going your way. The test is whether you can be gracious under pressure, put others first, see another's point of view.

Your friend sounds like a real nightmare, and utterly out of order. If your synopsis is accurate, her son and DIL have made the right choice!

Namechangeyetagaintohide Sun 18-Jan-15 17:37:17

Husband sounds a right cunt.

She doesn't sound like my type of friend so I can't really advise but yes I would suggest she do something about it or stop going on to you.

It's not like you can do anything is it ?

MoanCollins Sun 18-Jan-15 17:45:25

I would keep well out of it. It's very difficult to tell exactly what's happening in these situations when you are only hearing about things second hand.

We had a situation in my family where me and DH thought that my PILs were being very unreasonable to one of my SILs and unfairly nasty to them. After a few years my SIL's mask slipped and we ended up on the receiving end of the sort of behaviour that my PILs had been on for years and suddenly realised that they were not, in fact, the unreasonable people we thought they were.

It's really none of your business and getting involved will do no good. Smile, nod and change the subject.

HappyAgainOneDay Sun 18-Jan-15 17:54:16

MoanCollins Yes. No one knows what goes on behind closed doors.

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