I am so sorry. This is so much more hurtful than I had understood from the previous information I had. And the problems are very longstanding I see with your son.
First, though, you're right about the hate. I was operating on the information that she just said something casually to someone else once. I see that she is a person who is very devoted to being hateful. There is clearly a psychological issue she has that she's playing out here. I don't know whether there was abuse in her past or some trauma, but this type of "need to hate", need to spew invective, is almost always a sign of psychodynamic
problems. Wow. What you've related about her is very overpowering.
Your husband did
the right thing. I don't want to get into the longstanding problem: you're almost certainly right about being too permissive, etc. But that's in the past and you're living in the now. And your son is clearly not as close with you as you would like to believe.
I don't know how to get him to be as close. You two want to think of your family as close. I don't know about the middle boy, but this older one is clearly not feeling closeness. He's feeling rage, entitlement, and seeking revenge of some sort. He seems to have a lot of strong feelings inside.
What to do?
Boy, this is very late in the game with your son. There's very little to do now. He's an adult as we've said. You can only draw your lines in the sand. He'll be even angrier toward you two for all of the past problems growing up. But that seems unavoidable now. You've got to be able to live your lives and he's trying to make it unlivable for you as is she.
If you can get him to family therapy with you, that may help. It will have to be a very, very smart and capable family therapist. This is not an average problem. Your family is having a very serious problem that has longstanding roots.
Here is the web address for Psychology Today's therapist directory. You can sort by zip codes and when you see someone who seems like they might be helpful (they show you a photo of the therapist!) look at the listing and see if they list family therapy as a main thing they do in the areas they work with. Interview the therapist and make sure his/her values are similar to you and you feel confident and comfortable with him/her.
Good Therapy is a non profit directory. Same idea as the one above:
So, the botXXXXX XXXXXne is that you're right, it's awful and your son's being despicable. And you're not going to get anywhere near what you want in the short term. Meaning, he's not going to let you have a relationship with him unless it's on his terms. And his terms are that you have to be totally miserable, humiliated, and groveling. He has her to make sure of that.
So, you have to start telling him no. You don't want to take his offer. You need to let him spin off on his own and offer to visit together with him without her at a restaurant sometimes or at a park. Making rules with him will not win points in the short term, but it's long overdue and has the only hope long term.
Okay, I wish you the very best!
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