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Disowning my older children

(157 Posts)
gingerose123 Sat 27-Jun-15 19:19:17

I would love some feedback. First off I was married for 11 years to a man who was more concerned with his family than with me. I didn't realize how bad until our first year of marriage. We had 2 children 6 years apart. We finally divorced after years of me tolerating he and his family's bullying and abuse of me. He and his family worked pretty hard at alienating my kids from me. Although we had shared custody I never worried too much about it because i was always a good loving mom and figured as adults they would figure out the truth and that would be that. I did not participate by bad-mouthing the ex and his family figuring that would play in my favor later on. Now my kids are 20 and 15. The 20 year old lives with the family who hates me so much. She knows the truth about it all now, but it hasn't changed her mind about her relationship with them. Then my son who is 15 prefers to live with my ex husband. They have a larger family than me (I am alone-no siblings or close family) and my daughter told me she would rather be there because there are more people to do things with. I am so incredibly hurt and in pain as they prefer to be with the other family I am considering disowning them. I just can't take this pain any longer. Am I being unreasonable? Too sensitive?

lougle Sat 27-Jun-15 19:22:50

That's really sad but yes, you're being unreasonable. It isn't your children's job to make you feel wanted and your years of doing the right thing weren't a downpayment on future loyalty.

RavioliOnToast Sat 27-Jun-15 19:22:55

I don't think anybody can influence your decision, however I don't think I could ever 'disown' my two.

IMHO, I think you're a bit selfish. what if they need you for whatever reason and you've 'disowned' them?


froggyjump Sat 27-Jun-15 19:23:04

Surely you don't need to do anything as drastic as disowning them, but you would NBU to take a step back and try and protect yourself from this hurt a little. They are still young, and will probably want you to take a more active role in their lives again in a few months or years time.

It does sound really difficult though flowers

dangerrabbit Sat 27-Jun-15 19:25:25

How old are your younger children?

downgraded Sat 27-Jun-15 19:25:26

When do you see them both? What do you do together?

You need to build a relationship with them which is separate to anything that has gone on between you and your ex in laws in the past. They shouldn't be getting put in the middle, and if the in laws are putting them there you need to be rising above it and doing your best to preserve that relationship.

RandomMess Sat 27-Jun-15 19:26:17

They don't have much wisdom or maturity. I think as they get older they are far more likely to wise up and actively spend more time with you.

Yes by all means take a step back. Have you ever specifically had any counselling to help you deal with how you feel about all of this; it may stop it being so unbearably painful?


drudgetrudy Sat 27-Jun-15 19:28:48

It does sound upsetting but I think that you would be unreasonable to disown them. Love flows more down the generations than up them and as their Mum it is your job to be there for them rather than the other way round.
It might be a good thing to build up other areas of your life so that you feel more resilient to the hurt, though.
I would hang in there and try to let them know you are there for them.
At this age they are busy with their own lives and if they pick up a sense of neediness from you they may feel guilty or uncomfortable and avoid you more.

gingerose123 Sat 27-Jun-15 19:29:18

I appreciate the feedback. I found the comment of my years of doing the right thing not a down payment for future loyalty very interesting. My first thought was - how could it not be? When you have a good mom aren't you automatically loyal to her? Not looking for confrontation, honest. Just so confused....

Getthewonderwebout Sat 27-Jun-15 19:31:54

Hold tight OP. disowning them closes all doors. They have done nothing wrong, they're just doing what is right for them at this stage. If you want them to come back emotionally, just be their mum and let them know their happiness is your priority.

elderflowerlemonade Sat 27-Jun-15 19:33:55


I understand.

I think we all tend to think right will win in the end. But unfortunately where children are concerned it's more complex than that, isn't it?

Don't disown them, but step back if you need to.


downgraded Sat 27-Jun-15 19:34:00

You don't parent on the basis of what you'll get back in the future.

You parent your kids the best you can because you love them. If you love them, you should still be parenting them the best you can.

It doesn't actually sound like they've done anything or are bad kids, unless there's anything you haven't said.

maria543 Sat 27-Jun-15 19:34:27

Poor you. I do feel for you. Unfortunately I think your children won't truly figure it all out until they too are parents. It took me that long to really see how abusive my own parents were. I think you have to hang in there - I'm sure it will all come right in the end, particularly when you have grandchildren.

GERTI Sat 27-Jun-15 19:36:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Sat 27-Jun-15 19:37:08

It may be that your children have a very different experience of their fathers family and therefore it's difficult fOr them to understand what you went through. I don't think you are right to expect that kind of loyalty from your children anyway tbh. Things don't work like that. Obviously you had a horrible time but this is not your children's experience.

My mum and her siblings had an abusive childhood at the hands of my Nan. My mum still had contact when we were children and I was actually very close to my nan. I never saw the abusive side of her, she was lovely to us grandchildren and I really respect the fact that my mum didn't try to taint the relationship my nan had with her grandchildren in any way. It can't have been easy for my mumsad

lougle Sat 27-Jun-15 19:37:22

I'm not saying you wouldn't hope for their appreciation, but they have to live somewhere and in a split family, whichever they choose will be a tacit rejection of the other parent. It isn't their fault that they can't live with both of their parents.

elderflowerlemonade Sat 27-Jun-15 19:38:48

They are behaving badly to her.

They aren't intending to, but in essence they are leaving her alone whilst they stay with people who bullied and belittled her, hurt her and humiliated her.

Yes, we can understand why but OP is in the thick of the situation and she's hurting and she wants the hurt to stop.

I didn't get the feeling she was actually seriously thinking of it - I think she wants to be talked round. She's hurting. That hurt should be acknowledged.

gingerose123 Sat 27-Jun-15 19:39:27

And yes, I am in therapy to help me deal with this. I don't find him all that helpful though as he tries to tell me I am rejection-sensitive and the way I am perceiving this is not real.I know it's real. Yes, I do build up other areas of my life to help alleviate the hurt I have over this. I exercise and have hobbies. It's all a little fresh right now because my son (15 year old) just spent a month with me as he told me he wanted to live with me. I was so happy but felt cautious. Was he sure? Maybe just stay for a few days then go back. He said he was sure. I helped him get a little part time job, changed his school, and then his dad called him and guilted him into coming back to him. I am ashamed that I lost it a bit. Ok, I lost it alot. I need to find another way to look at this problem which is why I posted it. I am very grateful for your feedback. I am starting to think I need to put all my hurt feelings on the back burner and not pay attention to them. Then, as you say, if and when my kids need me I can be here. I will just need to find a way to deal with the hurt in the meantime without hurting anyone else.

pantsjustpants Sat 27-Jun-15 19:39:40

YABU, please don't disown them.

My xh was also abusive, mentally and physically, and getting away from him meant temporarily leaving my ds's with him. So he bad mouthed me and our relationship suffered. So ....lots of years down the line, my boys are now 24 and 26. I have a fab relationship with both of them, and neither see or speak to their father. Mine are old enough to realise the truth and act upon it, whereas yours aren't.

Don't lose touch, text & phone regularly if they won't see you. Always be there in a crisis or when they need a shoulder, all the stuff a Mum does. Don't write them off yet.

downgraded Sat 27-Jun-15 19:41:18

elderflower the children are staying with their family, which they should be doing.

It's not the children's fault that the family don't like the op. Their relationship with their family should be preserved as far as possible.

whathaveiforgottentoday Sat 27-Jun-15 19:42:03

I can understand how hurt you feel but you can't disown them. Even the 20 year old is quite young to be seeing the situation from your point. of view so give them time. I don't think I truly appreciated everything my mum did until I had kids myself.

formerbabe Sat 27-Jun-15 19:42:49

Then my son who is 15 prefers to live with my ex husband

I thought this comment was interesting. You say 'ex husband' rather than 'his dad'. I think you need to try to separate your past relationship with him with your children's relationship with him.

Don't disown them...things may really improve in the future..they are still quite young and their views may change a lot in the next few years...sounds very tough for you though flowers

NRomanoff Sat 27-Jun-15 19:45:45

If you are considering disowning them, then you are posaibly rejection sensitive. My mum hates my dads family. They don't like her, I recognise there is fault on both sides. Possibly your dd feels you are part to blame. My mum would be devastated if I told her I felt she was partly to blame for the problems, she has never asked so I have never told her.

You say you lost it 'a lot', does this happen often?

I am not blaming you for your ex or his family being dicks, but have you in part pushed your children away while they have been trying to decide for themselves what they think about it.

gingerose123 Sat 27-Jun-15 19:49:19

By the way my kids are pretty good kids. My son has tourette syndrome and had a lot of behavior problems growing up. I switched my career 3 times to be there for him...picking him up when he was suspended from school, taking him to all of his doctors appointments, ensuring my hours at work allowed me to take him to and from school because he couldn't ride the bus etc. However when the divorce happened (he was 5) he was a complete jerk to me because he blamed me for taking his dad away. Which of course wasn't the case at all. My son destroyed my property any chance he got, stole money and credit cards as he got older and I still continued to take him and try to work through the problems. Finally I asked him why he hated me so much and he said I wasn't there for him (dumbfounding me after my whole life was for him) when I asked him what he meant he said he had performances at school that I never came to. I had no idea but realized that my ex hid this from me so he could take his parents and new girlfriend. This is the sort of crap I have had to take over the years and might make it easier to understand why I am so sensitive.

pantsjustpants Sat 27-Jun-15 19:53:31

You do realise that children hit out at those closest and who they feel they can rely on?

When ds2 was 15 he was backwards and forwards between me and his dad like a yoyo....

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