How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Marian Your Own Question

Marian
Marian, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 116
Experience:  M.Sc. Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy, UK National Health Service
44705067
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Marian is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My son and daughter are back from employment in Europe and

Customer Question

My son and daughter are back from employment in Europe and my son visited for two weeks at Christmas, later joined by my daughter in law (2 day visit) During that time my son visited his brother in a close city several times staying overnight twice and joining his brothers family for part of Christmas eve and Christmas Day. His brother whom he visited has refused to have a relationship with me and refuses to allow my grandchildren to see me. This has been the case for 5 1/2 years. He claims I insulted his wife and that is the reason. He based his decision of not to see me any more or not allow my grandchildren to see me on heresay from his wife. He is a heavy drinker who recently stopped drinking, or so I hear.

My oldest son is now in my home state where his wife will be working, so I anticipate more visits.

The problem: During the holiday season my oldest son was going back and forth between my house and his brother's house. As mentioned, I am never invited to visit or attend family functions or holidays. During the holidays I began to feel like I was just providing a place for my eldest son to stay overnight to facilitate visits with his brother. I can deal with those feelings and let them pass, in the short terms but I started thinking about future visits. Since my eldest son and daughter in law are not in the same state, I anticipate frequent visits to my home.

I thought it best to set up some kind of structure for visits and told my eldest son that I would like to talk to him at some point in the future about how his visits would work out. I told him that I did not want to be just a place he would visit as a convenience for him to see his brother. That his brother does not talk to me or allow me to see my grandchildren, which in my mind in abusive and disrespectful to me. In short, I told my eldest son that I did not want to be a convenience and that is did not feel right to me to facilitate his visits to someone who is abusive and disrespectful to me.

My eldest son informed me , hollering in an angry outburst hat I "was trying to control his life" and that when he visits me he will go where he wants to go. He indicated he will visit whom he wants" and that I am "irrational" for suggesting that when he visits he should either stay with me or his brother. I suggested this so I did not have to feel as if I was supporting the abusive nature of his brother(refusing to see me, inviting me to family functions, refusing to let my grandchildren see me) I also suggested this because when my eldest son visits, I would like to work toward a good relationship and that is not possible if he is traveling back and forth to his brother's house. Also that I feel badly when I am not invited to be a part of the family for something that I apparently said 5 1/2 years ago to his wife.

I am talking about two adult men, one 39 and one 40 who in teenage years were in an adolecent treatment program, who are the children of my ex husband who had a drinking problem, who through a lot of struggles have satisfactory jobs but still seem to act like adolecents. My opinion of course.

I have now suggested to my son that we sit down and talk in a public place about how to find a solution to future visits that is agreeable and beneficial to everyone. And I have indicated a public place to curtail my eldest son's angry reaction and hollering. I also indicated to him that his behavior to me was disrespectful and I did not want to be hollered at.

Actually the behavior of both my sons is feeling familiar, like what was called "druggie" behavior in the program they were in. Also it feels like manipulation.

I do have control over my own house and who visits. I do not want to house a son who is visiting me out of convenience so he can see his brother who has disowned me because of something his wife told him I said 5 1/2 years ago. But I do not want to loose the relationship with this son but I may have to give up if he insists on visits on his terms.

Again, I have suggested we have a conversation about this in the future so we can reach some kind of agreement. However, I don't hold much hope for a good solution or one that is respectful of me.

Input would be helpful.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Marian replied 3 years ago.

Hello and welcome,

 

Of course you have the right to decide who visits you and deserve to be treated with respect. Hollering is not an appropriate way of talking to someone so I can see why you are upset. I can also see things from your eldest son's perspective and as he was upset and became angry, affecting the way he communicated, I thought it may help to articulate that perspective for you to consider.

 

To me is seems that you are understandably very hurt by your other son's behaviour. Your elder son is not responsible for his brothers behaviour. You appear to believe that if he visits you when he visits his brother that this implies that he doesn't really want to see you, but is merely using you as a convenience. You know him and this may be correct, however it may also be that he wants to maintain a relationship with both of you and sees your current position as forcing him to choose between you.

 

It would be a great pity if the actions of your other son were to cost you the relationship with your older son too. Children are not always very considerate of their parents needs and there is no reason why you should not discuss things with him if you feel he is being unreasonable, however you may get further by talking about how his action makes you feel, rather than assuming that is what he intended. So for instance, you could explain that if he comes to stay but spends little time with you, it feels like he doesn't care and that is particularly hurtful in view of the fact that you are also excluded from a relationship with his brother - that what you would like would be to know when he is likely to have free time with you during his visit so that you can plan to do things with him.

 

I hope that he is prepared to listen, if you are able to communicate in such a way as to avoid accusations. If not, then you may need to decide if you are prepared to let him stay and see how it goes now that he is aware of the issue, or whether you would prefer to risk losing the relationship by making it clear you expect him to visit you and not his brother in the same visit.

 

I hope you are able to find some form of compromise with him.

 

All the best,

Marian

 

 



Edited by Marian on 1/2/2011 at 3:06 PM EST
Marian, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 116
Experience: M.Sc. Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy, UK National Health Service
Marian and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/Dr.Keane/2013-8-20_204325_drkeane.64x64.jpg Dr. Keane's Avatar

    Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5024
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC's Avatar

    Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3733
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrAkiraOlsen/2012-2-20_746_AkiraADpicmain.64x64.jpg Dr. Olsen's Avatar

    Dr. Olsen

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2336
    PsyD Psychologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg Norman M.'s Avatar

    Norman M.

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2193
    UK trained in hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy and have been in private practice. ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), UKCP Registered and ECP.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PsychologyProf/2010-07-15_171248_logos060400409.jpg Dr. Michael's Avatar

    Dr. Michael

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2177
    Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KURTEMMERLING/2010-07-23_215531_just_ask_picture1.jpg Steven Olsen's Avatar

    Steven Olsen

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1727
    More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education