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Kristin, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 454
Experience:  Licensed Mental Health Counselor. 11+ years specialist in mental health. Expertise and insight!
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Daughter in law has manipulated my husband and my actions

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daughter in law has manipulated my husband and my actions and convinced our son to alienate us from his life. She is very vindictive/passive agressive. son needs to stand up for what he wants- we've been very close. He talks to his 2 brothers, refuses to talk to us when we are visiting his area where we have a house in NC. Her mothers is   very controlling-lives near us in RI-refuses to talk to us. Were devastated

Hello and thank you for your question.

What age is your son, and how long have they been married? Also, what is their reasoning for refusing contact with you? Had there been disagreements or arguments leading up to this lack of contact? I can certainly understand why you would be very upset about this...please provide more info. so I can get a more comprehensive picture of the situation...

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
theyve been married for 4 years an living in nc the whole time. We bought a house ina neighboring town and visit a couple times a year. His wife was starting to get "chilly" before we bought the house and have inferred that is the reason never actually had a conversation for over a year. we live comfortabally my husb and i both have good jobs- paid for their weding and give them a used car when our son's was dying. they seem to resent our "comfortable" life and have judged us for such. No real disagreements won't talk at all.

This is a very odd situation, especially when you were so close to your son. There must be something more to the story that has caused such an extreme reaction, unless his wife is somehow threatened by you being in his life? I'm not sure why they would judge you for having good jobs and therefore a nice lifestyle, as you have also helped them financially as well.

Without more information there is not much to go on here. What I would advise is that you go and see your son (in person), without his wife and talk with him. Ask him what on earth this is about and from that point move forward. Without communication, and no understanding of what is going on, I don't see how this will change.

If it is in fact due to his wife being manipulative, then your son really needs to seek out counseling for himself so he can see what is happening in this marriage.

If you would like to give me your zip code I could send a list of therapists in your area.

Have you tried calling your son (privately) or when he is alone and just talking to him about this? Please click accept button and feel free to continue discussion even after clicking accept. Thank you...

Kristin and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

Here is a link to several therapists in that zip code, and who also specialize in relationship issues among other things. Thank you for the bonus and I wish you the best in reconnecting with your son. From what you have said here, it does sound like perhaps he is also being influenced and not able to think clearly. Do try to contact him personally and privately.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

my son is 29 almost 30. his wife is a few years older they are leaving their jobs (her dicision) in NC - she is very stressed and docs think that's why she hasn't been able to get pregnant. They are going to come back to RI and live with her mother.My son (Jon) told my brother in low (mark) this at my son Geoff's college graduation last wkend. Jon and Meg told us a different version. not sure what to believe. Will be interesting. I will make an attempt to reach Jon to talk to him. How shuld I start the conversation?

You can simply start the conversation by telling him that you have missed him dearly and ask him how he is doing...

You can tell him that you want to understand from his perspective what has caused this distance between you, and that you would like to hear whatever he would like to say.

If he is quiet, then just ask him how he is doing, what he is up to etc. tell him about what you are doing, etc. (keep it newsy and light) if he doesn't want to discuss other stuff.

Then ask him if you can meet him for lunch or if he can come home for a visit or whatever feels right to you... but do let him know that you really want to be in contact with him from this point forward and ask him if he will agree to that. The goal of this first conversation is to just connect and have a nice talk, even if its brief...with the main thing to let him know that you want to be in his life of course, that you love him and miss him, and that you are always here for him, as his mom.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

My husband and I are planning on visiting NC in July for a visit.We haven't even told them we're coming the last few times we've gone down there we were told they were "unavailable" and refused to see us. We went to church sunday morning and our son emailed us and told us not to visit her "place of work". We have respected that and are very disheartened being in a few miles of them and not "allowed" to see them. It is helpful to talk to you an get feedback- it's been very emotional llike loosing a son. We feel like he's been brain washed.

Meg didn't stay for Geoff's graduation- she went to a friends in another building (same university) wihtout even saying anything or goodbye. Jon and Meg weren't "available" to have dinner with us after the graduation and went to dinner with the family of her friend, This is what she has done frequently and used Jon to answer for her often.

Well if your son's behavior has changed this dramatically since being married, then one would perhaps think it is due to her influence. The question that you don't know is for what reason... how frustrating this must be for you and baffling as well. When your son talks to his other siblings, does he tell them anything more about it?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

not much from his brothers.Geoff called in the elephant in the room during a visit to Jon's in NC. Jon acts like nothing happens. We do ask Geoff and Paul (middle son) if they have heard from Jon but try not to get them too involved. Geoff and Paul are aware Jon's not talking to us. My husb and I think Meaghan is jealous we are financially comfortable (not rich by any means!) and has made several references to that. They resent anything we've done for them (wedding and car) and we have not made any overtures of anything else material. I am very concerned that if they live with her mom that we will be further alienated as her mom is a very controlling person as well. Grndchildren (and my son) will be out of reach. Her mother lives 15 miles from us in RI. We have deliberately left them alone as we're afraid we will appear we're trying to come between them or endanger theri relationship. Less is more. After I try and communicate with Jon before our trip or during, I will let you know how it went. Will I be able to communicate with you again? Thanks so much


Yes Phyllis, if you would like to reach me directly, just put To Kristin, in front of your next question here on JustAnswer and I will be the one to answer you. I wish you all the best and remember that reconnecting may be a bit of a process so take your time. Thank you.