Feelings of Resentment

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We relocated to another area six years ago due to work. It has been difficult at best to reestablish a sense of community here.

Tried church, etc. We are 65 and 73 years olds. Both work. Feels terrible to be so alone especially in times of need and or holidays.

Husband is recovering from surgery and I asked for one of my children to come down to help us since I have to return to work. Neither are able.

We live six hours away and it isn’t convenient I know, but we have made lots of trips at our expense and time, to their homes to stay in touch with them and our grandchildren. We have provided financial support at times.

I don’t know why we don’t matter to them more… Maybe we do, but I’m feeling very alone right now. And sad.

And our adult children and young grandchildren rarely come to visit. We know they are busy but when do we become a priority? And how do I let go of feeling resentful?
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32 thoughts on “Feelings of Resentment”

  1. This is a good topic. As a mom of two grown children, I am proud of who my kids have grown to be. My husband and I enjoyed raising our children. Now they have their own families and are busy working and living their lives. My husband and I miss the time with them, but still feel connected. We are not the center of their universes. We have our own pursuits and are happily enjoying our lives. Community is important. Serving others is healthy. There are many children who need older people to listen to them.

  2. I have discovered if you expect nothing, you’ll never be disappointed. That sounds harsh but I’m just being realistic. I’m 77, live alone but your
    Life is yours alone. I started volunteering and have great church friends. I also have medical problems that occasionally confine me but I stay busy. I depend on me but don’t expect my kids to fulfill my life. I am a foster parent for dogs and their love is enough.

  3. I am also in a similar situation, if it wasn’t for our daughter we would have no one to rely on should we need help. We are both in our 70s and have 4 children, only the one daughter bothers to visit us, we have lived in this house almost 5 years and the other children have, I think, maybe been twice. They live maybe a 2 hour trip away. We always used to visit them but it was barely ever the other way around.
    I am handicapped now, not terribly but I can’t walk any distance, I have no car during the day, spouse still works, so can’t go anywhere, my life is basically 4 walls. All these people saying join an organization or go to church, it’s a little difficult, with no car and no bus service and unable to walk anywhere.
    Yes, I think children owe their parents some respect, they should visit them and make sure they are OK, they also have a responsibility to us. My mother lived a 10 hour flight away, in Europe but I phoned her every week and managed to visit as often as I could, always sent cards and letters, because that’s what children are supposed to do.
    I have lost all respect for my children, except the one who seems to have taken up the ‘burden’ of being there for us, she doesn’t think it’s a burden, in fact loves visiting and we love visiting her and her children and partner. The others can go to h**l as far as I’m concerned, I will make sure they get nothing from us when we go. I love and take care of the ones who love and take care of me.

    1. We are also in our 70s. A second marriage for both. We have 7 children between us and only3 visit occasionally. But to be fair 2 live across the country. Times have changed and children go away, or just don’t care. They could call and ask how you are and need anything. especially if they are only half hr away. My step children (3) only one couple visits regularly and so caring.

  4. Life is a challenge and at 72 widowed for 15 years and recently moved to another suburb [in the same city] reestablishing yourself is not easy. One son lives interstate, the other in the country and both have very busy lives. I keep in touch by social media and see them when I can. I have a busy social life with a craft group, church group, volunteer group and a retirement group. Yes being alone doesn’t mean you have to be lonely. Remake your life using what you have at hand.

  5. There are a lot of lonely people out there. We don’t tell anyone how lonely we are. I didn’t realize how lonely my Mum was until she had Dementia and knocked on her neighbours door to say how lonely she was.

    It’s a terrible shame that we don’t have realizations about life until our later years.

  6. I know exactly what she is saying. I am in the same boat. I have tried all the suggestions and take it from me they don’t work. I don’t know what the answer is or if there even is one.

  7. just wanted to say i totally understand! i moved to maine after my husband died, to be near my daughter & family…less than a yr. later my son in law broke up the marriage & left her with 2 little ones. i was collateral damage: trying to help her while still grieving & overly emotional. it took its toll …now they have all moved away & i am left here with no support at 73….they are 5 hrs. away in vt. i try to stay super independent, but sometimes you just need help! moving to vt. is an option but rents are astronomical. also they are so busy i wonder if i would just be a pain in the patootie to them. good luck to you!

  8. Your children are living the busiest time of their lives. I would try to keep in touch by sending lovely letters and cards….things they might like. Try not to put pressure on them. Be pleasant and supportive. Once the din settles down they will likely be more responsive. You can’t expect much at this point in time and it isn’t personal. If you lived with them you’d be helping them with their load that life has placed upon them, but you live apart. Keep the feelings light and loving. You will regret it if you do anything else.

  9. Posts are quite a revelation to what we all seem to be dealing with our adult children. When my son and his wife moved 3,000 miles away, I moved there also to not miss out on Grandchildren. My son encouraged the move but DIL not as happy. After a few years, and two grandchildren, things have become more comfortable for all. I’m 77, and watch my 2 1/2 year old granddaughter once or twice a week!! She really is the light of my life and am grateful I made the move when I did. Found a little apartment, and have lovely neighbors. Spend majority of time alone but that really is OK with me.
    Our youth oriented American culture makes aging more difficult in ways.

  10. I would try calling them. They do get some time off as well as sick days. There is also Family Leave too. On vacations they could come at least once a year for a few days. I would not pay for the trip to see you either. They would be staying at your home so hotel bill would be nil. Also, if they do not make any attempt to see you or contact you, I would spend all my money on myself on my comfort. I would limit my “gifts”. If you died or husband, they would be there in a heartbeat to collect. I’ve seen this too many times. Go on a nice expensive trip. And spend “their” money. Also set up a trust so if something would happen to you, you will be covered. Also, a get a trusted person (your executor) who will care for your wellbeing and put a stop to their neglect because they would come running when money is involved. In addition, as someone else said go to different churches- you may find one for you. Volunteering at the library or school may open your world and make you busy and forget about your children as they did to you. They could make time if they wanted to.

  11. Hopefully You NEVER become a “priority” for your adult kids as they are putting their children and their lives first. Now, if and when You need help to be given a bit of grace and consideration would be nice and sometimes it’s not possible. Stop resenting them for struggling through their lives just because You are struggling in yours. It’s not the world of our parents, it’s more difficult to make ends meet now.

  12. We moved to a different state after retirement. I made friends by volunteering at the library and a program thst feeds homeless. I understand you work though, so that would be difficult. I especially love my church. I think you should try a different church…most welcome with open arms! As for the children, we moved to be closer to them but now they have moved! I just think kids are different now, even though we raised them right. They are more selfish and have different priorities. Don’t think you are alone though, I truly hope you find peace with your situation.

  13. I’ve always believed in “Bloom where you are planted”
    It’s difficult to make friends when you both work every day but you could host a get-together on a weekend and invite neighbors in for a social hour. Coffee and cake, or wine and cheese. Sometimes we have to make more of an effort
    I wish you well.

  14. When my husband retired in 1995, he had planned all of his working life that when he did, we’d move to northern Wisconsin so he could fish all day every day for the rest of his life. I was able to take my job up north also so I was still working though at home now. He got up every morning at 5:30, I made his breakfast so he could be on the water by 8 a.m. After about a year I asked him if he could not fish on Sunday so we could go to church together so he kindly stopped fishing on Sundays to go to church. All of this went on for the next 15 years but he stopped fishing as much because his COPD became much worse (he’d started smoking at the age of 14 and was now 77). So did his arthritis. I retired from work in 2005 and hadn’t made many friends because I was always in the house either cleaning or cooking and had no other life. When he died at age 84 I moved down to where our son lived so I could at least get to know my granddaughters and their children. Ha!! It’s been two years and it’s tough because the girls don’t know me and don’t really care to. I had them all over for dinners the first two years but never got invited back so I stopped. I’m now 86, live in an apartment in SE Wisconsin where the weather is much better than it is in northern Wisconsin; I should’ve moved here years ago but my husband was too stubborn and didn’t care if he knew the grandkids or not. Now I’m suffering from our lack of communication. But we’re all trying except the great grandchildren don’t but they’re really young and don’t really care about granny (me).

  15. I feel your pain. I had to move to another state at one time and found it very hard. Neighbors were hostile, schools for my sons were inadequate and the weather conditions were intolerable. My extended family resented the move and never visited as a result. I endured this hardship for 13 years and eventually was able to move back. Now, I no longer speak to my resentful relatives and my sons and I are content. My suggestion to you is to work out ways to move closer to your family, try to repair the broken relationships, but if they don’t want to, be happy with yourself and your husband. Best wishes to you!

  16. One of my 2 sons moved away 9 years ago taking my 2 grandchildren with him. He and my DIL have done very well building their lives in a more job-friendly area. More power to them. My husbanmd and I used to drive to see them about 4x/yr. They rarely came to see us. Either they couldn’t get the time off or didn’t have the money to spend on the trip. My husband died almost 2 years ago now and I haven’t been down there since he died. I just find it hard to contemplate making that trip on my own. I keep in touch – especially with the grands and send them pretty regular “care packages”. Just little things I see here and there – nothing expensive, just little things kids love. It’s hard – this life – for all of us. We just have to accept what is and make things work as best as we can. I sold our house and now have a small apt. in an independent living building for seniors. My Mom lives here as well in her own apt. So, I take her to doctor appointments and out for lunch now and again. I’m one of the youngest people here but, it’s ok. I don’t know if I’ll stay here forever but, who knows what’s in store for me? Time will tell.

  17. Sorry but I don’t see how you can expect children to leave their jobs and families to travel 6000 miles. I know you say your working but as you age and need more help the obvious thing to do is move back. There must be some sort of work there for you. There really shouldn’t be expectation for our children to become our carers.Sad as it is this is the reality.

  18. Dearest Feeling Resentful ~ It’s normal and understandable to have those feelings, but probably isn’t serving you well to stay stuck in them. As we know, we can’t change others’ behaviors, only our response to them. Reading your narrative, I can’t get past the “tried church etc.” You don’t really say what happened, or why it was so hard. If it were me, I’d double down on those efforts. Reaching out to others is exactly the right thing to do to help you build community in your new place. I urge you to keep connecting with others – church, volunteering, attending community events, etc. Join the church choir. Help out at a local school. The holidays typically offer lots of opportunities to help others. Listen, I get it: It’s SO hard to uproot ourselves. And I believe you’ll feel more supported once you establish some solid friendships and become “that new couple that we’re so glad has brightened our community!”

  19. It is really hard to let go of expectations. I remind myself of how selfish I was when I was younger, how little I thought of my parents needs. It never occurred to me back then that they would even LIKE to see me more! But somehow I expected my kids to be different. I thought we had such a BOND!
    Turns out they have their lives and we have ours. My husband seems to have an easier time with it than I do. It hurts most when I see children post about how their mom is their best friend and see pictures of people I know travelling and spending time together. It’s hard not to compare.

    1. I’m so sorry. I tell my hubby about his child, they make time for what’s important, same issue with her. He has just stepped back and let her live her life, will see her once a year when she wants her Christmas gift. We’ve filled our life with good friends, finally retired and stay busy enjoying life. It’s sad on how much they, and you, are missing.

  20. I think as we age, big changes are more challenging. We retired and moved 6,000 miles away from our home of 40 years. You can imagine what we left behind. Despite our efforts, it took 3 years to feel like we were home. Establishing our new friendships, routine, place, and comfort zone was challenging. But, now things are good. As for our adult kids, I think it’s easy to forget the unique challenges and time restraints that working parents face. No matter how much they love us, their plates are full. It’s more costly to travel as a family of 4+, than for 2. We have to rid ourselves of expectations, rest in our circumstances, and keep pursuing our new life. Best wishes on this challenging transition!

    1. I totally agree with what you said. Children are a gift we are given and remember back when we were that age and all the stress of a family. People who work only have a small amount of time and they should be able to spend it doing something fun. Stay in touch with mail and phone and face time is excellent

  21. Personally, I think you should hold on to some of that resentment. You might use it to push yourself into giving yourself the love and respect you expect from your irresponsible grown children. Sometimes the kindest thing that we can do for our kids, is to teach them that mom and dad ain’t no softie.

  22. I believe , from my standpoint, that I messed up allowing the priority to be shifted disproportionately. Speaking for myself I lost focus on the BIG picture, and now to readjust my “set” so to speak, or our set, moving is what’s going to happen. It’s easy for me to always try and fix issues with children, but then you lose your perspective, your “big picture” because their busy lives are beginning and yours has ended.

    1. I agree with Breezy ^^. These are all your thoughts and feelings, you have no idea what your children are thinking and feeling. You and your husband made the choice to move, your children are making choices for their families that you must respect. Doesn’t mean you have to like it. The reality of it is, you and your husband are on your own. How can you find the help you need (social services, Medicare, United Way)? Start taking care of yourselves, and if that means saying no to your children, then so be it. Tough love for you and them. Make you and your husband your top priority.

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