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What do I do next, if anything?(20 Posts)
My son is in his late twenties, and whilst our relationship has always been difficult, it is getting worse.
To give some context, I left his father when I was six months pregnant with my son due to his violence. He has since died. My son never got on with his father, mainly because my ex was an alcoholic who treated my son appallingly, whether sober or drunk. Son didn't see his father from about age fourteen.
Son's partner left him about a year ago, and a new partner and her daughter (three and a half) moved in recently. He has his four-year old daughter every weekend.
I didn't have another relationship until son was 13, and finally re-married when he was almost twenty. He has never liked my husband,and in the seven years we have been married has visited our home half a dozen times. (I moved when I got married, and neither of my sons wanted to move with me so I gave each of them a deposit to buy a house).
Son has never treated me with any respect, has called me by my first name for years, nothing I do is ever good enough; he disparages my work and earnings even though I brought up two children on my wage, managed to keep the family home, and they never suffered financially from my marriage break down.
When my Granddaughter was born, I bought the travel system they wanted, I didn't offer unwanted advice, in fact I have always walked on eggshells when discussing anything with him, as his way is always right; no one else's opinion matters since he is obviously superior to them. I visited almost every week, but would always check it was okay to do so, and would stay about three hours since I live about an hours drive away. I got on well with his partner, who once asked why her own mother couldn't be more like me. So I wasn't a 'mother-in-law' from hell.
Son struggled academically but is very intelligent, with a phenomenal memory that he puts to use in bringing up every wrong anyone, but especially me, has ever done to him. He did an apprenticeship, works hard and earns good money.
Since his partner left him, he has insisted that all family members cut her dead. I refused since she is the mother of my grandchild. This caused untold problems where he didn't speak to me, and eventually he and his ex were having a stand up row in the street and I tried to take my granddaughter in the house and away from her warring parents. I was called a two-faced-cow and sworn at by my son's ex, and she stopped speaking to me too.
Recently, things have worsened with my son toward me. I ring and ask if I can call round, he asks what time, I suggest a time and he always alters it by ten minutes as it is more convenient for him. I am not allowed to give my granddaughter any sweets or treats unless I ask permission which is often refused, yet I was told that whilst I looked after her for the weekend whilst he and his new partner went on holiday, I had to buy her some new shoes, new wellies and new tights.
I offered to buy the girls a pram and doll each for Christmas, to treat them both the same, but was told no. I therefore got the pram and doll just for my granddaughter for her recent birthday. (With permission)
In recent weeks, my son has told me to F off home as he had told both girls off for doing the same thing, but had also put his daughter on the naughty step as extra punishment. When this happened again, I saw him in the kitchen alone and suggested it wasn't fair to deal more harshly with one child when they had both done the same thing wrong. He told me it was none of my business and that if I was such a great parent, how come he and his brother were like they are. He then told me to F off home. I told my husband we were leaving as I was no longer welcome. I said goodbye to my son three times and was met with silence each time. When my husband said bye, my son said bye back.
The following week I was invited for my Granddaughter's birthday tea. My son hardly spoke to me and when I asked why, he said what did I expect after my behaviour? The girls went to bed and after about ten minutes, my son said he hoped I wasn't going to outstay my welcome like I usually do. I left about ten minutes later, after being accused of being in contact with his ex.
The following weekend, the family met at the pub for a celebration. He hardly spoke to me. Many people were eating and my Granddaughter said she was hungry so I asked her Dad if I could get her some food. He said no since her Mum was collecting her in an hour. Granddaughter continued to say she was hungry so I asked again if she could have some food since there was no guarantee her Mum would be feeding her straight away. He bought her sausage and chips which she really enjoyed.
He then laced into me, bringing up all sorts of things where I seem to forget he is the parent and I have no right to interfere. I asked him why he is so awful to me, and why he hadn't told me about a car crash he had had a few days previously that I had just been told about, and he said, I put it on snapchat, it's your fault if you didn't see it. He then said that's what happens when someone outstays their welcome and someone gets too tired to drive. He then said I was disgusting and that I disgust him and walked away. They left about an hour later and his partner said goodbye but he didn't.
I had asked when I could call round with Christmas presents and was told he didn't know. He has said to a relative that I am an arse, but he has told me what I am and he therefore blames me for not talking to him since I don't like the truth.
Having heard nothing from him, I called round unannounced today on my way to visit a friend. The house was empty so I rang him to ask where he was, and was it okay for me to leave their presents in the hallway. He was visiting his partners father, an hour and a half away, (yet my house an hour away is too far).
I left the presents in the hall, and have been rewarded with a text saying 'Thanks for our presents'.
Where do I take it from here? He has all the power since he has my Granddaughter. Do I accept that he doesn't like me and wants nothing to do with me, or do I continue to put myself forward in the firing line for his emotional abuse, and leaving his house in tears every time, just to spend time with my Granddaughter?
Sorry, but yes I think so. I know he's your son but frankly he's an arse. I'd still keep the lines of communication open with your gd, send cards etc, but why keep putting yourself through this? Time to walk away.
I dread this
It's true I would stop putting yourself through quite so much. It's possible that your relationship could improve slowly over time. My DH had a phase a few years ago when he was very angry with his parents and had to go and tell them so - as time has gone on he has been able to let go of it and be closer to them. Thank goodness they stayed calm throughout.
Stay in touch with your granddaughter with cards; likewise send cards for Christmas and birthdays to your son. If you're invited to things I would say you have other plans, unless it's for babysitting - if you don't mind? That way you get to spend time with your GD with very limited interaction with your son. I'd also make sure his ex knows if you are happy to babysit for her from time to time.
It's time to stop pussyfooting around your son. He really sounds like a piece of work. He doesn't appreciate or respect you at all. I wonder if you back off and stop pandering to him whether he will need you for babysitting duties. I really feel for you in relation to your DGD, but your son sounds nasty and if he won't respect you, you need to respect yourself.
As hard as it will be you need to distance yourself from your son. Change DS to DH and people would be screaming LTB.
Keep in touch with cards etc as suggested by
I know you are all right and that I should distance myself.
The problem with contacting the ex and offering babysitting services, is that it will burn all bridges with my son. He thinks that his enemies should be the whole family's enemies, and that it is a betrayal otherwise.
Strangely enough, he thinks I am trying to control him, and cannot see that he has to be in charge and control everything. He has said I need to apologise to him for my past behaviour.
I know if this was happening to a friend or relative, what I would be advising but it is hard to take your own advice isn't it?
That is what controlling people do. If they don't have 100% control of the situation they feel other people are controlling them. It's very hard to do. Especially when it's your child. But just take some gentle steps back.
Yes thinking about it you probably are best not to offer babysitting.
I wouldn't do anything as active as distancing yourself - just don't be very active about getting in touch.
I have to say that I see my mum about every 4 months or so and consider myself to be very close to her, so my yardstick is different. I would find every week quite intense even though we are good friends as well as close relatives.
Poor you, op , you sound just lovely. You can take back some of that 'power' from him by not engaging when he behaves like a dick (and sorry to be blunt, but that's what he's being when he's so incredibly rude to you). You can walk away and say "I have no intention of listening to you when you're this rude". And if it breaks down your relationship fully with him by staying in touch with your Grandaughter's Mother, so be it. Your Grandaughter is innocent in all of this, and you wouldn't be doing anything wrong if you tried to contact your Ex-DIL and offer your support. Don't let him control your relationships with other people.
My ex doesn't talk to his mother anymore. He is also an arse. He and his wife say it is because she picked me when we split. His wife is an idiot not just for this but believes it to be true. It isn't why he did it but truth is long and boring but he did it because he doesn't see her are useful so she's out.
She also didn't pick me but has done since which makes me sad. She picked her grandchildren. He wouldn't let her see them when he had them so she asked me and I made her welcome. This was several years ago now and I make damn sure her mantlepiece is never empty on mothers days and birthdays. We live close by now and see her at least once a week. Ex has said at one point he would talk to her if I didn't but her and I both know he won't. It's a way for him to control again and she said no she wouldn't be blackmailed like that.
It may alienate your son offering to babysit for the ex but really he is horrible and abusive now and yes I know he's your son but tou wouldn't let anyone else treat you like this tou cannot allow it just because he's your son he is an adult and chooses this behaviour.
Difficult. I'm sure you are concerned about your granddaughter and it sounds as if he will use your relationship with her to hold power over you.
I don't think he will hesitate to stop your contact with her if he feels he needs to.
For now I would try to find ways of protecting yourself emotionally but continue as you are.
Has he ever been able to have a rational conversation with you about what exactly he is so angry about and what he wants you to apologize for?
If this continues and you can't find a resolution I would give up with your son and try to see your grandchild via her mother.
He is being abusive towards you but he holds a lot of power because of the grandchild.
I feel for you in this situation.
I have asked what I have done wrong on numerous occasions and he just says 'You know what you have done.'
I know I haven't done wrong enough to warrant his treatment of me, and I refuse to apologise carte Blanche as that would tell him he is right and he would frequently bring it up that I apologised so I must be in the wrong.
That just shows that he doesn't want a constructive approach and is just being abusive and unreasonable.
Is your relationship with his ex still good enough for you to have contact with your grandchild through her?
It sadly doesn't sound like you are going to be able to improve things with your son in the foreseeable future.
You'll always be in the wrong where he is concerned. That's what he wants as people like this make everything about them being right and other people having done them wrong, repeatedly. I agree with the advice about unobtrusively pulling back. Play the long game with access to your grandchildren.
I am so sorry this must be awful for you.
I agree with PP that in your shoes I would try to re build a relationship with the ex. I know you say DS would never forgive you but your relationship with him seems to be fairly destroyed (by him) anyway
If I am to distance myself, should I tell him that I am going to take a break to see if our relationship improves, or should I just wait for him to contact me?
If you announce your intention it's probable that he'll subject you to another round of verbal abuse and/or will dig his heels as, to his mind, you'll be giving him cause to cut you out of his life, and that of your dgd, completely.
Under the circumstances, you're best advised to simply draw back, wait to see if he initiates contact with you, and resist any temptation to have anything other than perfunctory conversations with him.
I would be tempted to write to him to tell him how upset his behavior is making you, and severely limit your time in contact with him, depending on any possible change from his side.
As others have said, I would not allow him to dictate who you are in contact with, so if that means speaking to his ExP then so be it, it's nothing to do with him.
He's being an arse, and despite being your son,you can't carry on as you are going otherwise you will end up with mental health issues.
Others have said to just draw back a little and to reduce contact.
The issue I personally have with that is there is no communication allowing someone to possibly see the light. At least by explaining how you feel, he can be in no doubt it's his behavior that's causing this issue, and not just you feeling grumpy.
I think I would feel it's more 'honest' (whatever that means) to do this. - Just my thoughts.
Best of luck OP
I think I shall just see how things go with not contacting him, and leave it up to him to contact me. I could be waiting some time! In any event, at least he cannot have a go at me if I am not in his company.
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