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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
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Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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We have a daughter who is married to a schizophrenic man who

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We have a daughter who is married to a schizophrenic man who disowned his mother because she re-married, his eldest daughter is estranged from them for 4 years, eloped with a man soon after leaving school and has since borne 2 children. Threats of the time made them take out an estraining order against them. Under the auspices of supposedly "reconciling" with her, after 4 years (unsuccessful) he is accusing us (supported by his wife, our daughter) of hiding from them the fact that we have been in contact with their daughter but have never told them so. The Xmas in the year of the daughter running off she sent her mother and daughter a Xmas greeting and was responded : f... off you slut !" They have never asked save for once my daughter asked my wife (who would always choose the path of least drama and confrontation) and she answered to the negative. My New Year greeting hints referring to it as being a year of forgiveness were ignored. My daughter is demanding an apology from us to her husband for having contact with their daughter and never telling them this (the father has been so worried about her !!!!) I wrote her a compassioned letter to explain our situation - she referred to it as a business letter (obviously his interpretation.) They send sms's to our other daughter that "he has dropped off my daughter (his wife) in some dangerous locality, telling her she is no longer welcome in his home" and that we can do with her want we want' :this supposedly, explained by my daughter to us - "is a test of love." They have started to use our other grandchild (aged 6) who was only told recently about her "missing' sister asking questions like "what is my sister's telephone number, why cant I speak to my sister?" Each connection, sms, e-mail, telephone, skype, just gets uglier and uglier. As parents / grandparents we have decided to sever all contact with them much as it separates us from the little 6 year old with whom we have an extraordinary bond - we cannot take the stress of the confrontational abuse we have to face on each contact occasion. Last time on Skype my daughter's face took on a totally demonical look, - completely out of character with her personaltiy = demanding the apology to her lied to husband. We believe this is just a path to severing the bond we had with our daughter - just like he did with his own mother save it took him some 22 years to get it right with us... are we right in severing contact with them?

Only you can decide if it is in your best interest to sever the relationship with your daughter. Nobody likes family conflicts because they put an enormous strain on many members in the family. You can lessen your contact with your daughter if that makes you feel better...just checking in on her with telephone calls though not lengthy and rare personal visits if that can be tolerated by both sides. To assist you in deciding what to do, make a list of all of the positive reasons to cease contact with your daughter and all of the negative reasons and then weigh the two options.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Our daughter has been so brain-washed by her husband that she will always follow his train of thought and deed. Over this particular conflict my daughter has always maintained that we should not lose contact with the little 6 yr old (don't 'punish" her - as if punishment is our style) but then they have gone on to use the little 6 year old to ask us questions we cannot answer, leading again to confrontation : "I want my sister's telephone number', (they obtained it via a P.I. and the phone call to her was rebuked - the estranged daughter has a tremendous fear of her father) "why cant I talk to my sister," "where is Mary's (her aunt) birthday present" (they also had an altercation with her so she does not feel welcome in their home anymore) So we even question the sincerity of us keeping contact with our young grand-daughter. And indeed the effect on her of an in-conflict families ! The two logical options open to us weigh heavily towards the negatives mostly represented in our son-in-law who has an enormous capacity for conflict, hate and revenge - as illustrated by him writing off his own mother. As much as it pains us we will most probably break contact - the alternative is to maintain contact and just have the heap of hate and conflict accumulate to that point anyway. Txs for your reply.

For your sanity, it would be best to cease the contact. One day, your daughter may come to the realization that her husband has brainwashed her. You cannot change your daughter's thoughts and actions. You can only change your reactions to your daughter. Just lay low for a while so that you can be released from the mental strain that has been imposed upon you by your daughter and her husband. You deserve some peace of mind...if only for a brief moment.
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