Conflict & grown up children(5 Posts)
I have 3 grown up children in their 20s & 30s. 2 eldest are girls and youngest a son. I'm divorced and live with my son, having had failed / distastrous marriages. My two daughters have a good relationship, which I welcome - the younger daughter has two small children and moved further away, so I can't see her as often as I'd like because I work full time.
In the past year I had distressing conflict with my eldest who has had a series of terrible abusive boyfriends, which led to her cutting herself off from me because I couldn't bear that she was with these nasty men, & she couldn't see it. Thankfully in the last few months, that seems to be put behind her and we've worked hard to draw a line and repair our relationship, which I've welcomed. But recently I find myself increasingly caught up with conflict if I spend any time with either of them, with one accusing me of spending more time with the other and neglecting her. I'm being caught up in he said / she said. I've been accused by the daughter with small children of not making time for her because I spend all my time with my eldest daughter who lives nearby. Truth is I don't. I spend a lot of time working and on my own. In fact I'm very lonely at times. My failed last marriage ( divorced 10 years ago) is constantly thrown in my face as a source of complaint because they see it as a source of all their problems. I can't seem to ever move away from this. There's too much messaging / gossip between them about things I'm supposed to have said about the other, most of it untrue or exaggerated. Most recent occasion one daughter tells the other I asked if something's been said, and it leads to an angry phone call demanding why I've said. My son accuses me of allowing his sisters to control my life after seeing at close hand the detrimental affect it's having on me. I'm really worn out by this. I've always done my best for them all, supprted them throughout their lives, financially and emotionally, and always been there. I feel that I'm totally unappreciated and more recently disrespected. And would love to have a sensible normal relationship again. Maybe I've just done too much, and devoted my life too much to my children, and neglected my own happiness. I love them all very much. It's causing me great distress and sleepless nights.
You poor thing.. Sorry to say but your daughters are taking you for granted, and behaving in a rather selfish and spoilt way. You didn't say how old they are?, but sounds like old enough to grow up! My mum asked me to leave when I was 19 and has never lifted a finger to help me with my child, ever. I struggled and forget any financial help! Enough, look after yourself. Stop being manipulated. They are old enough to behave with more respect and stop being so cruel to you, clealry a caring mum. Take care
A good start would be to refuse to take part in any discussion of one child with another. My inlaws have this rule and it is brilliant. 'Mmmm' 'Let's change the subject' and That's her business' all worth trying. If hints not taken, say you have to go now, and put the phone down.
Your son sounds like he wants the best for you. Praise him when he keeps the conversation positive.
Thanks for the down to earth and helpful advice. It's difficult when you're emotionally involved to deal with your loved ones seemingly hypercritical & at times so resentful. The more I try to build bridges, more its seems trivial issues are used to create more division. Annandale : sound advice. I was told one daughter doesn't want to see me if the other daughter is with me as apparently I 'behave differently' ( I don't, I'm 60 and want a quiet life FGS) so much sibling rivalry which I've never encouraged. Right about my son. All this has strained our relationship.
Mmmm.. Think one daughter is trying to get attention and sounds resentful. Ignore and don't allow yourself to be manipulated. Do what you think is right, and make it clear you love them all ,but expect respect and better manners. Your son sounds like the sensible one right now.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.