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psychlady, Counselor
Category: Relationship
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Experience:  I have over 16 years experience in treating adults presenting with a variety of relationship issues
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Can I share with you some of the emails my daughter-in-law

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Can I share with you some of the emails my daughter-in-law & I have exchanged and you can give me your opinion on whether I am right in feeling the way I do?
Of course.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
This is part of an email I received from my dtr-in-law last week & my response to it & her response back:

I also want to say mom to mom that i can only imagine how hard it is for you both with Rich in the state that he is. He is your son and I have no idea how I would deal. We've heard through the rumor mill that hes staying in TO and have a hunch that hes staying with you guys. You know we do not want our children to see a sick or angry uncle rich, HOWEVER, we do not want to rob you and Dad of your grandchildren and dont want to rob our boys of their grandparents. That has never been our intention of navigating our family through this. I just want you to know that if the rumor is true, we wont object to you hosting the children because you deserve to have as fulfilling of a relationship with your grandchildren as possible. We trust you would protect our boys from any weirdness. We are curious about what is going on with Rich and are still hopeful hell clean up and reach out to us someday.

We love you both very much and the boys absolutely adore you guys and the doggies. I dont want there to be any pink elephant, weirdness or funk if he is living with you. Or you guys not feeling comfortable telling us if he is. And who knows I could totally be wrong here...

My response:
Hi Jen, Thank you for the email. It means a lot to me. I have a real busy morning, but I will fill in some of the blanks for you in a later email today. Love, Mom

later I sent:
What a treat for those boys to have you all to themselves! Hope you enjoyed the movie, what did you see?

Anyway, to catch you up, Rich has moved out of his house. Some of his stuff is here. But he has sold a great deal of it. Rich is sort of living here. He has a new job that is monopolizing all his time and he often stays in the city during the week. He may be here next Saturday night. I'm not sure. Rich worked very hard at extricating himself from his previous line of work and feels he is starting over new. I assure you there is no weirdness or funk. I think he would love to reach out to either or both of you, if you are both ready and would be receptive. I haven't mentioned to him that the kids might be here, but I know he would absolutely love to see them. And, of course, we always look forward to having them with us. Would love to see it all work out. Love you, MOM
- Show quoted text -

This is what she sent back:

To be honest I am struggling with what to say about rich. I should probably shut the f up and relish the rediscovered closeness i feel with my inlaws because i dont want to lose it. I have a lot of concern (to put it delicately) about the state of my brother in law but i don't want it to come between us like i know it has in the past so ill just shut up now and i trust you will solicit my input if you'd like it in the future. Craig and i put our full trust that you and dad will protect our boys from witnessing anything that would disturb them. Rich really f**ked us over after we went over and above the call of duty. Sorry sorry sorry I am trying so hard to not give you any unsolicited feedback since i am more fearful of our relationship disintegrating, but as for a reconciliation; as much as we want one, we need a genuine apology and rich to reach out on his own accord. Please do not mention it to him. We over extended ourselves and if he still cannot see that then he is not ready to forge a relationship with us. Despite the rift with us, if he wanted to see the children, he would have reached out to them, even if we felt he was too unstable to visit, at least our children would have something from him because they ask about what happened to him. Seriously ill stop now because you didn't ask for any of this. If you want me to be real with you i will because i obviously have an impossible time keeping how i really feel from anyone. And honestly how I really feel is that we four Craig Hyatt's love you guys too much to let this scenario get in the way of our relationship. Also, it should be known that if we didn't love Rich so much, we wouldn't even bother with the tough love lock the door approach. Just ask him about when we took him under our wings and had him over for dinners..or not-actually its best if you don't say anything about us... But how could we not care? We tried everything else, exhausted our options and have to protect our family and our well being along with stopping enabling him. There are consequences and if hes really clean and gives a shit about us hell reach out and apologize. We still have faith it will happen someday,

We love you guys too much and are disappointed the rumors are true. We feel really terrible about the situation and that you guys are taking this on during your retirement but having sons of our own, who knows how wed handle it if we were faced with the same circumstances. The entire situation is heartbreaking and all we've ever tried to do is navigate our family through it as healthy as possible and never ever meant to hurt anyone in the process. I understand that i communicate differently that your family does, its just that the unspoken thing drives me crazy and is why i reached out. We don't want you to feel like you have to dance around the fact hes living there. You have enough going on why hang onto that stress?

Anyway, im always here for you if you want to talk. You might not like what i have to say but i promise to be honest and i may have a big mouth but im also a very good listener. Try me.

I love you and good night :-)

I did not respond to this, but I did share it with my husband and he emailed her the following:

Mom forwarded the attached email stream to me. I don't know exactly how to express my disappointment & utter frustration regarding this slap in the face. Mom truly thought you were reaching out with compassion when you inquired about Rich, only to have the information turned into a rant about him. Helping either of our sons will never be a burden, regardless of how old we get. Hopefully you will come to understand, but today unfortunately, it appears not to be the case. We had anticipated that you guys had moved beyond the past, as you seemed to have done with other friends. I now know that may never happen in my lifetime, and this fact truly saddens me.

Jennifer & Craig, I don't believe that it is appropriate to take the kids this weekend feeling the way we do.

Then she wrote back the following and we have not responded:


Is this some kind of cruel joke? I know our families have completely different ways of communicating, but I feel like I am the only one here putting myself out there and speaking honestly only to be sucker punched in the gut because of my honesty.

I was reaching out in compassion. I got the impression you were dancing around the Rich situation and I figured it must be stressful enough, why add insult to injury and continue the charade. It pains me to dance around the truth, so I reached out to mom.

I wanted to respond to her defense of Rich letting her know that I understood why she was defending him, but that it will take a little more time for us to work through it...IE it wasn't gonna happen THIS weekend. Sure, we want a reconciliation, but we can't continue to get mowed down by him. It especially hurts me to my marrow to hear her say he would LOVE TO SEE THE KIDS. Our boys ask about him...and I'm very sensitive about this...if he really cared about the boys, he could have sent a birthday card or some kind of message to them. But I digress, he never intended or chose to be an I'm not about to hold him to it.

I'm sick of you people telling me how I feel, or why I say what I say or what my intentions are. You are not me! This was not intended to be a slap in the face!!!!! I am the only person in this family who actually says what I feel and what's on my mind. I don't dance around the truth, I dont keep secrets, I don't purposely not respond to emails. This is not a game to me! What you see is what you get! Don't you feel comforted knowing that? I'm not playing games, I'm just being real. I'm sorry if the truth hurts! We are a family and we should be able to speak our minds to each other...if not to our family, than to who?

You have it all very very wrong, my intention was not to turn anything around into a rant, in fact I kept stopping myself when I felt my message became ranty... Besides the fact, I was reaching out to mom, mom to mom, and didn't expect my words to become public. Haven't we learned enough from all the craziness in the email chains in which the whole family was copied on? If I knew this would be a public message, I would have been mindful in the way that I chose my words, as I know you are very sensitive about this topic, and my intention was never ever to hurt you or mom or anyone else. I was extending an olive branch and offered an ear to mom. I'm sorry what I said hurt your feelings, but you are drawing the wrong conclusion here. I'm sick over this miscommunication.

Bringing up our best friends was a low blow. They disrespected and used us. I've never had a falling out with anyone that wasn't resolved, but unfortuntately in that circumstance, the relationship is dead. Beyond salvagable. Beyond painful. You have it wrong - we absolutely did not move on and forget the past. What's done is done and we no longer speak to them.

You are telling me a reconciliation wont happen in your lifetime? WHY ARE YOU JUMPING TO THAT CONCLUSION? I'm trying my best to foster a closeness and a bond I thought I had with mom only to be betrayed, and accused of slapping you in the face.

Truly that was never my intention. I'm more sorry than you'll ever know that you feel that way.


I sure hope you can read this without getting to confused. Thank you!

I find several things strange but you may not agree. It seems that she is making "her uncle"s problems your problems. This is extremely unfortunate when there are children involved - grandchildren. Also she seems to want to punish you for what he is doing. There are compromises to seeing the kids than making you pay. She presents as critical, overbearing and even at times high and mighty (sorry).
This overall is such a sad situation. There are compromises that would allow you to see the kids while he isn't home. This doesn't have to be a power struggle. There is concern for the kids and being nosy and overly concerned. In addition, how often he stays at your house is your business. I would be willing to compromise but not so much so that you are subject to her rules
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I'm just not sure how to respond to her as I don't want to respond as she did but I'm so tired of the disrespect shown to us. I don't want to stoop to her level & really lay the truth on her. I really do love her, but she drinks too much & in front of the kids. I think sometimes she emails when she has been drinking. She is not an alcoholic. But, she works very hard & it relaxes her. I can understand that. She's also training for a marathon and they have an active social life. I understand this, because I was a working mom with 2 kids also. I just don't know where to go from here. Thanks for any help you can give.
I understand. It's always tricky handling any problem when others are being disrespectful and even unreasonable. First you can have an alcohol problem without being an alcoholic. This can make people unreasonable and have vague memories at times of events or behavior. You have to be the voice of reason for this situation unfortunately. Try to find a compromise but don't go overboard in trying to please her. She may respect boundaries after she has had some time to think. You have to be concerned with your family in the end and you may be forced to wait until she comes around.
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