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KimberlyF, Longtime Relationship Expert
Category: Relationship
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Experience:  Relationship expert for almost three years with
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My son and his wife of four years do not want to spend the

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My son and his wife of four years do not want to spend the holidays with us, but will spend a week with her parents. His wife claims that I have offended her, and my son believes that I told him that "she's not good enough for you." They want to meet on Christmas day to discuss their concerns about our relationship. I have spoken with him several times, but he is accusatory and insists that I am globalizing the concerns into a character issue. I find his unwillingness to temper her characterizations of my motives to be an issue. I don't see how either of them can assign a negative motive to me without discussing their problem directly with me. I am hurt that my son is not defending me to his wife and helping her to feel less intimidated by me. There is a financial disparity between the two families that is very apparent and has been a source of pride in the other family. What do you suggest I do? I have told him that I am unwilling to be abused or accused of manipulation, which is his

HiCustomer Thank you for asking your question on JustAnswer. By the way, it would help us to know:


-How was your son's and your relationship before this?


-Do you want to make ammends with his wife and have a relationship with her?


-Do they have children?

-Could you explain your situation a little more?

Thank you again for trusting us with your problem. Please reply as soon as possible so that we can finish answering your question.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
My son has had a vascillating relationship with me since he went away to college. He has tried to make decisions about his life like getting engaged before he left college without letting us know beforehand. When he needs help, he comes home and enlists me to bail him out. The first engagement fell through by the way. He has sought my help and advice at various times, but that has been a source of difficulty for him with his wife. I do not trust his wife because she has consistenly tried to drive a wedge between my son and me. She is very controlling and has to have her way at all times. I would like a better relationship but ultimately, I think she would have to make some effort to win my trust, which she has not chosen to do. She typically avoids me and will not return my calls or thank me when I send a gift. I believe my son is behind the push to mend the relationship. I do not think it will work unless she wants to heal what ever grudge she is holding against me. They do not have children. They are moving back into the area next year and I believe he wants to get some peace at home. She apparently blames me for everything she is frustrated about. I have been reluctant to even keep in touch with him because she is so threatened by me that she give him grief if I do call. He typically will contact my husband to let us both know what is happening in his life.


Your son may feel torn between the two of you and this may be why he is trying to bridge the gap in communication. His wife may be threatened by you that you are the most important woman in your son's life and this is why she tries to put a wedge between the two of you. Although he is your son once he married his wife he put all of his energy into his marriage as he should do. Try sitting down with them both and talking things out and explain to them both that you feel there has been alot of miscommunication on both parts if you go into it only blaming her or them it will only get worse. Since they plan to move back to the area maybe that can be a stepping stone for you and your daughter in law to spend some time together and kind of start all over.


She may have it in her head that you just don't like her because she took your son from you show her that the two of you can co exist, it is good to listen and sometimes not respond just listen without giving your opinion in matters that involve a decision about their marriage. Do what you think is best, XXXXX XXXXX turns out you were wrong, admit your mistake. Most of the time, especially if they are married, you might unintentionally involve yourself in their marriage and your son may use what you say to him against his wife to get the upper hand in private matters especially if he tells you about how they aren't getting along with their mate. If you don't want something to come back and bite you later, don't involve yourself in their private family affairs. Respect that they are a couple and you raised your son and he is an adult now and it's his marriage and allow him to learn through trial and error.


There is a respectful way that you talk with your daughter in-law that doesn't makes her feel like you are rejecting her, or that would make her rebel against you. Make her feel appreciated for her actions first, then state your feelings. She will be more willing to listen if she sees that you actually care what she thinks and how she feels. If she says something that you do not agree with take a mental note and then let her finish and then talk about what you disagree with she will be more willing to hear what you have to say if she feels you have showed her the same respect. You do not want to continue to be at odds with her and then when she has children (Your grandchildren) she won't want you around them because she will think you are going to influence them in a negative way against her.

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