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I have no idea where to go from here(11 Posts)
I am absolutely tearing my hair out and don't know what to do - I would really appreciate some advice. I've written some backstory at the end of my post - it isn't really necessary to answer the question but might help you understand how we've got to here. So if you don't have much time feel free to skip the backstory.
I found out after Christmas that my 'D'M has put a significant sum of money (six figures) into a house purchase for her new OH who she's only been seeing for a year and who I have met twice and my DB has met once. The OH has a reputation as a "ladies man" and "several" ex-wives (my DMs own words). He was charm personified when we met him but a few incidents made us think he's quite controlling and a bit of a bully. He also talks like he's a millionaire but was renting as he couldn't afford to buy. Oh and she isn't on the deeds for tax reasons, and we only found out about the whole thing because we overheard a phone conversation her OH had with his son while they were here visiting, and so the OH decided to fill us in. When my DB and I asked her to tell us what was going on she got really angry and refused to answer our questions.
Since then I have sent numerous emails explaining that we just want to be sure that she knows what she is doing, that she has taken legal advice, and that she is protected in case things go wrong. We've asked her to clarify what the set up is (there are additional complications such as the OH's DS has also put in money and the OH has gifted his share of the house to his DS for inheritance tax reasons) but she keeps avoiding the question. She's played the "Why can't you be happy for me?" card, and her latest one is that it's none of our business what she does with her money and I'm being cruel for withholding pictures of my DD and DS from her (I don't feel I can continue with our usual exchange of pleasantries and pics of my DC until the house issue is cleared up).
What on earth do I do now? She just wants to pretend none of this has happened and to play happy families with her being the amazing grandparent. I know it's her money to do with as she chooses, but it all seems so dodgy especially as she apparently wasn't even going to tell us she was buying this house and moving in with her OH, and she's making out like I'm the devil incarnate for daring to question it!
Any advice? Do I go NC and deprive my DC of their one grandparent? Do I just ignore the elephant in the room and act like nothing has happened? Something between the two?
'D'M is the only surviving GP to my two DC. We live at opposite ends of the country and have a difficult relationship which went badly wrong three years ago. She suddenly went extremely frosty with me on my DD's 1st birthday and continued to be really off with me for the next six months. I didn't have a clue what I'd done until a chance remark led to it finally coming out that my "crime" was that I'd asked her to look through a charity bag to see if there was anything she wanted, and she found two Christmas decorations that she had given us the previous Christmas. Apparently I'd deliberately told her to look in the bag to upset her . I apologised profusely for upsetting her and explained that they just weren't our taste but she refused to accept my apology and wouldn't even look at me. This was after I'd driven a five hour journey with 18 month old DD to visit her! The remainder of the visit was extremely awkward. I didn't want DD's relationship with her to suffer so on my return home wrote to her apologising again and asking her to please accept my apology. I also said it would be nice if she could apologise to me for giving me the silent treatment for six months over something so trivial. She eventually replied and basically said she wouldn't accept my apology and she didn't feel she had anything to apologise for! Eventually things thawed between us but since then I have been much more guarded with her as I was so hurt by her behaviour.
A bit more background is that she's always had really unhealthy relationships with men, twisting herself into a pretzel to be the woman they want, rushing into things, and making bad financial decisions - e.g. when I was a teenager she had a fling with my karate instructor who was many years her junior, and we moved in next door to him and she financed a Porsche for them to "share" . Unsurprisingly it didn't work out and we had to move right in the middle of my GCSEs (and I never saw the car again either). I grew up thinking that I only had any worth if men found me attractive and I made some very bad decisions which I massively regret because of this. It's only since I met my DH that I've realised how important it is to be myself and be loved for being me.
DMs OH wanted my DD to call him grandad within a day of first meeting and DM couldn't see that was inappropriate. He also tried to force DD to kiss him goodnight when she really didn't want to .
She doesn't bring much to our lives except that my DD loves her (too young to see the things that I see, and DS is too young to even know who she is). She pretty much only causes me negative emotions. But she's my mum. I'm so confused
God this is so long. Sorry. It's all such a mess.
I'm not sure you can do much if she refuses to listen to you.
I would advise her to get the loan agreement in writing, unless she's actually giving it as a gift.
Thanks Sandy. I actually have a friend who is a property lawyer and gave me lots of info about how DM can make sure she's protected which I passed on to her, but she won't tell me how it's been set up (the story keeps changing re the OH DS for instance) or what legal protection is in place.
I'm looking for advice on our relationship because of the house thing rather than advice about the house thing itself iyswim.
It's her life, her money and she's already done it. She's continuing the pattern she has always had.
She's not going to change at this point. She views your questions as crossing a boundary.
I would do my best to detach emotionally from her and keep your expectations very low, if you continue to see her.
But you're wasting your time and energy trying to talk 'sense' into her.
Personally I would back off. . You are imo risking your mh trying to understand her logic. .
She sounds like a narcissist OP! She doesn't really deserve your concern.
Thanks category and wish
If I just let it drop she wants to be all "nicey nicey" doing Skype calls so she can see my DC (they're both too young to have an independent relationship with her) and me sending regular pictures and anecdotes, but I don't think I can put on that act with this hanging over us like a cloud .
You've already given her sage advice, OP, and it sounds as though she's ignored it. The wheels will come off sooner or later and I think you'd be better thinking ahead about how much support you and your DB are likely to be asked for/willing to provide.
Your relationship sounds similar to mine with my mother - instead of being adult:adult it's always parent:child. It's taken me many, many years to recognise this and TBH she's so old that I've resigned myself to living with the status quo rather than take any steps to change it. I'd urge you (having more years ahead of you than me) to find an approach that will enable you to deal with this difficult woman.
Thanks Belarusian. I've often wondered if she is a narcissist.
I am concerned for her but I'm also really hurt and angry that she kept it all from us but still expects to play a role in my life and that of my DCs.
I'm also sad for my DCs at the strained relationship I have with their only grandparent.
I have been thinking of that future scenario and the truth is I just don't know how much support I'll feel able to give when she's treated me so badly - I know two wrongs don't make a right but she's really hurt me so many times.
You're totally right about the parent child thing. The funny thing is she treats me like a child but it seems to me she's the one acting like a child (secrets, tantrums, sulks) and I'm the parent.
I'm nearly 40 and she's in her 70s and I still haven't figured out how to deal with her in a way that doesn't see me getting hurt.
Ps meant to say sorry to hear you also have a difficult relationship with your mother too optimist. Since having my DC it hurts all the more as I can't imagine ever treating them the way she's treated me
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