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Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1372
Experience:  Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
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I visited my son, daughter-in-law (out-of-state) and their

Customer Question

I visited my son, daughter-in-law (out-of-state) and their young children on Labor Day weekend.
When I arrived, d-in-law was very angry and kicked son out of house. So I stayed in a motel with my son. He told me that he had been very wrong. He had had a 'relationship' briefly with a woman mostly by phone. (No physical affair.) He was sincerely ***** ***** the next 3 days, D-in-law would leave the house for several hours and we looked after the kids. She wouldn't speak to me. And yelled at my son a lot. I certainly understood that she was hurt.
On the last evening before I left, she swore and yelled at me to "get out of her house". I was so shocked and so sad. Cried the next day at the airport. I felt that she was trying to cut me off from the family and didn't
want any contact again.
She had texted me that she would call.
When I came home, I simply tried to distance myself from the situation
but felt very hurt.
For her birthday, I sent her a card and a wish for finding peace.
I usually initiate most contact with son and d-in-law but I didn't.
After 3 months, I sent a 'neutral' e-m - hope you're feeling better,
Christmas coming, etc.
I then learned from son that she was very angry about the card and e-m.
And that I haven't 'supported' her during her darkest days. (BTW, she is very close to her parents. Frequent contact, phone, visits etc.) They reportedly have been giving a lot of support and I haven't. My son is disappointed in me.
I then tried to call, text several times to her but no reply. Indicated that I wanted to mend things. She finally e-mailed that she wanted no contact and that I was cold and cruel. (!)
What a mess! I need advice about how to manage sadness and get some sort of relationship back with her. This is of course hurting my relationship with my son as well.
Ann
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 12 months ago.

*This website DOES NOT constitute treatment and only provides information and advice in a Q&A format. For treatment (therapy and/or medications) you must go to a licensed professional in your area. Please note that anything said here is not private or confidential, as this is a public forum.

Hello and thank you for using JustAnswer. It sounds like this woman is very sensitive and tends to think like a victim because I do not understand why she was so angry at you for the card and email given what you described. It may be difficult to try to reconcile with her given that you may be able to say everything right and perfect in an apology, but she still may refuse. You have to understand that only she is in control of her actions and that means she can make the choice to hold on to this grudge and anger with you, no matter what you do. You can try to ask her out for coffee or just to talk on the phone to clear the air and tell her what your goal was with the email and card, but like I said she may still hold on to this anger. Try to tell her that you believe this was a misunderstanding and that you were not trying to abandon her or antagonize her, then you want to explain what your goal was in trying to come to a peaceful solution. Hopefully she will understand, but just because she may not respond positively to your explanation does not mean you said anything wrong, as she may have her own psychological issues that cause her to not see your sincerity and willingness to reconcile.

As for your sadness, have you considered undergoing individual therapy to help you cope with these unfortunate circumstances...not caused by you?

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