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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1374
Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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My 27 year old son who is married to a woman 15 years his senior,

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My 27 year old son who is married to a woman 15 years his senior, who has 4 children ages 10, 12, 19, and 22. And 4 grandchildren 1month, 1 year, 2 years, and 4 years old. My son; who has wanted children of his own since he was 14 (or younger), will not have any; because his wife is "done with that". My husband (the stepdad), Oldest son (29), and me, have tried to be supportive and welcoming to the wife. The problem? She expects us to treat each of her children and grandchildren as if they were our own. Having been to several birthday parties, and been ignored, attended the eldest childs' wedding and gave a 300.00 gift (with no thank you), it has become clear that she expects money and presents to be filtered to and through her to her offspring; but we shouldn't expect thanks, XXXXX XXXXX or any form of respect from them. Because that's not the way they do things. Our sons were raised to respect people of all ages; but this son is now 'jumping on the hate wagon'; whenever I choose not to attend a function designed to gather gifts. How do I tactfully remind my son of what is respectful, that stopping by our home (with wife waiting in car, because her daughter & baby are in there & it's too hard to get baby in and out of car seat) just when they want money ... or other hurtful; and I don't feel I can take this much longer; but I don't want to loose what little contact I have with this son? Texting, talking on his way to & from work occasionally. We really think his wife is sick and several levels. My son was a minimalist, and she is also a hoarder; so I worry about his emotional health as well.
Hello And Thank You for using Just Answer. I am sorry to hear about the problems with your son and his wife. It can be very frustrating dealing with a daughter in law that just does not fit into your family dynamic. Unfortunately, you will not be able to change her. She is manipulating your son and using him and your family to support herself and her slew of kids and grandkids. How does your son feel about the situation? Has he ever said anything or does he just keep going along with what the wife says? Your son is still young and sooner than later, he will become worn out from his wife's antics and manipulative ways. He knows right from wrong but is too afraid to admit that he screwed up in marrying the wrong person. His wife sounds a little mentally off and has probably made threats that if he leaves her then she will....who knows what she is capable of doing. All you can do now is to be open and honest with your son with respect though. Do not even bother talking to the wife. It will do no good. Try to see if you and your husband can talk to your son face to face about how he feels. See if he will open up to you. If not you, then see if he will open up to his brother. He needs direction and guidance because he is in a really emotionally straining predicament. You are correct in that it is important to maintain the little contact that you do have with your son. If you kept your distance for a while and did not call or text, would he reach out to you? Have you asked your son that he seek counseling if he is feeling overwhelmed by his marriage and responsibilities? It must be taking a toll on your son. Just continue to provide support for your son's emotional well being, limit contact with the wife and kids for a while, and just have the faith that things will get better. Nothing stays the same. All things do eventually change.
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