Need Advice

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Anonymous writes, “I have three grown children, two daughters and one son. One daughter, who lives in the town I live in, has three boys (young adults) and my son, who lives in a neighboring state, has two boys (ages two and five)…

Earlier this year, their father (my ex-husband) died and to make a very long story short, his last-minute changes to his Will have left all three siblings at odds with one another. It’s horrible.

The worst part is that since the funeral, my son and his wife no longer speak to me, contact me, or share pictures of my grandsons like they faithfully did. (It’s a long story, complicated. I think it has to do with the fact that I and my daughters agree that my son exerted undue influence on his Dad during the last week of his life, leading to my ex changing his Will, essentially writing-out one of my daughters.)

My son’s mother-in-law has joined in. I used to go to her FB page to see pictures of the kids and all the things they do together, but she has blocked me so I see nothing. I’ve missed the boys’ second and fifth birthdays – I was always invited to celebrations – and the five year old’s start of Kindergarten.

I sent the boys birthday presents but have no idea if they ever got them. My daughter-in-law, who is bi-polar, has left terribly nasty voicemail messages on one of my daughter’s phones and I honestly could see her literally throwing away anything I might send. And now, Christmas looms.

My son will not take my calls or respond to my texts.

I need advice. I don’t know how to handle this. Send gifts? Don’t send gifts? I’m worried they would never reach the boys.

Thank you.”

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25 thoughts on “Need Advice”

  1. Wonderful advice in these responses. I agree most by letting each know that you love them and that will never change, but you cannot choose sides. In time they will figure it out for themselves. Write the letters to the children, that will prove to them that you cared all along. Never forget the power of prayer. I have seen estrangement changed when the one who refused realized what they needed most. My prayers are with you that your family will be healed.

  2. I have no words except to speak from my heart. I would let this son know that I’m here I’m not going anywhere that I Love him & his family. Then I would focus on my daughter’s & their family’s. I would pray & put this situation in God’s hands & let all concerned know you have given it to the Lord. Then just let go of all that love that’s in your heart let it go to where ever it wants to go & don’t hold it back good still works miricles.

  3. I am responding to let you know that you are not alone in this situation. There are countless other families that are split apart. We know your pain. I really don’t know how to advise you, other than that you cannot allow this to destroy your heart and soul. The people involved are adults and are each responsible for their own behavior.

  4. Our granddaughters are now 17 and 19 and it’s been almost 7 years since we’ve been allowed contact with them. Now they’re old enough to reach out, if they want, but like you mentioned, we’re blocked from all Facebook pages, Twitter, Instagram accounts for even cousins not kin to us. Their father and step mother poisoned their minds.

    Our ‘sin’ was embracing an adult child (their mother), who turned from a worldly life and returned to the family whole and healed.

    1. You have 2 options, 1 sue for grandparent visitation and contact rights. The courts are granting grandparents the legal right to see and contact their grandchildren everyday. Most States have laws in place protecting your rights. Or 2nd you can stop all contact with them and pray God intervene. As long as you chase them they have all the power and will continue to exert the power over you. So you can either go legal or give it to God.

  5. So sorry for your situation. Think the savings account suggestion is a good one but do it for all the grandchildren. Perhaps a little more for the ones you don’t see. Rebuild your life slowly without hurting yourself with what might have been, if you decide to write a letter make sure all the children see it so no comeback. Good luck with this I hope perhaps in future it will solve itself.

    1. I love this idea. In time, and adult maturity they will know they were never forgotten. I might add a note to each one of them at Christmas and birthdays to give to them at the time they receive the bank accounts.

  6. It’s called adult estrangement, and it’s more common than most people think. It can take very little to start the estrangement but I can vouch, that it can continue for years. 25+ for me with one, seen my eldest grandson once when he was 11 months, he’s now 24 and I have never seen his sister, our granddaughter.
    This is becoming an epidemic, and no, it’s got nothing to do with bad parenting and everything to do with entitled, narsisstic adult children.
    Don’t contact them, let it be, nothing will solve it but time, pray all you like, it doesn’t work. Enjoy the family who you are still involved with.

    1. I’m so sorry to read this. I personally experienced something similar; took 10 years and it was the hardest period of my life. But, the Lord restored our relationship and He will yours also. What I can say is this, nothing you do or say will change their hearts until they are ready. In the meantime pray for them and take care of yourself both physically and mentally. Lean on the family you do have, that will make this easier to bear.

    2. Good advice. I agree, it’s only when you experience the estrangement that you get to hear that a lot more people are experiencing it.

    3. I’m really feeling your pain here…not so sure what if anything one can do..one day your grandchildren will have their own families and possible repeat this abandonment act as well…Enjoy what’s left of your family.

  7. I would buy gifts for the Marine Corp. toys for tots program. Maybe adopt a family with children for Christmas. I know it hurts but you need to accept that this is how things are. Since my son got married our daughter in-law has made sure we have minimal contact. We live out of state they never come to visit but will take trips all around us. It’s hard but since I’ve accepted this is how it’s going to be I’m happier. I focus more on our daughter and her family who want us in their lives.

  8. Silence is golden. No contact what so ever. Time will eventually let things settle down. The savings account sounds good. Even writing notes to them but not sending them at this point will document your love for them. You can give them later But if the parents are that angry they will turn the children the same way. Daughter in laws usually rule the roost and what they say or do usually goes. Binding time is the best. Make them want to hear from you. Let the drama die down. Best wishes. Concentrate on the folks who care.

  9. I am in almost the same situation as you. I Sent gifts to my grandkids except to have them thrown back in my face. i have tried everything to see them but nothing works so i left it alone believe me when i say it is the hardest thing a person has to go through but karma will take care of it. Now i bide my time till maybe they will come and see me. I dont send gifts i gave that up long ago

  10. Don’t send gifts! You are right,They probably throw them out.If you must do anything,Donate a small amount to a charity in their name, i know everyone likes to all people bi-polar for nasty behavior,it’s not.its just her guilt and knowing what they did with your ex’s mind at the end that makes her nasty.Youknow how common this is?yes families break apart over money,especially when it’s not fairly divided.Yourdaughter is not wrong to feel hurt.Youwere not wrong to support her either,The damage isdone(by your son and ex), accept it for now and embrace who you have left.You did nothing wrong,we cannot adult parent our adult children.Money really can be therootof all evil

  11. Pray…pray…did i say pray. Pray every day every time you think of them. Never stop even if it takes years. I baught a treasure box for mine. Baught cards for every holiday,small items that i thought they would love and everything went in this treasure box. After almost 10 years of prayers and collecting i finally got to see my grandson! Yup ten years and i gave him everything! I felt good and he knows I’ve always loved him. He treasures the first stuffed animal i baufht with a book. Grateful for the collection

    1. What a wonderful way to handle such a terrible time. I’m so glad that your grandson has gotten to know your love. I have a similar situation, still praying and waiting.

  12. The savings accounts can be set up as “payable on death” with the kids as beneficiaries. Your social security number would be used and you would have responsibility for taxes on the interest earned. Go to a lawyer and make a will.

  13. Think about writing an open letter to the family make copies for everyone. Make it clear you love them all and want an opportunity to have relationships either together as one family or independently from each other as you will remain neutral and not discuss the situation in any gatherings. If there are any apologies necessary do that too. If six months goes by and you don’t hear anything, do it again, and again. You might need to skip sending presents- but buy them, wrap them, keep them for the hope of healing.

  14. Let your children work it out between them and do not chose a side. Anything involving the ex is no longer in your bailiwick. In the long run, you love all your children. They are adults and their decisions are their choice. No matter what you believe personally, say nothing. In the end, if you want to have a relationship with your grandchildren, you cannot be involved. Family relationships are tough to navigate in the best of situations. But you must make sure that in the end, nothing you have said or done has contributed to the situation on either side. I agree with continuing to get gifts and write letters. When I have been in that situation. I make sure that I give them to them in person when I do get a chance to see them. Even in the case where it was five years later. Because I did not make a choice in my relationships with them, we were able to put the conflicts aside and start anew. I don’t believe that would have happened if I had take a side. And as adults, their relationship with my ex is none of my business.

  15. Start a savings account for the grands. Each event that you are not a part of that you would buy a gift for put the money in the account. Unfortunately these days without their socials you cant use their names but look into starting two savings accounts anyway. There is probably not much that you can do about the parents keeping them away at this point but 9ne day they will see that you care and never forget

    1. There are ways to put money aside for these Grandchildren. If you want to send cards and letters make sure you write down when you send them and any monies you hold for them. That way they will always remember you!! Good luck. I am praying for you

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