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Father and Son estranged

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Hi everybody. I'm new to the site, found it by searching for help with a situation which is breaking my heart :crying:

Me and my husband have been married for 34 years. We have only one son, he is 32 and married with a 5 year old son of his own. Our grandson is the light of our lives and we are very involved in his life.

My husband and son have never really had a good relationship, ever since my son was about 18 years old. I have my own theory why this is but not sure if I'm being biased, but I think my husband could never cope with not being "in charge" of him any longer.

Just over a year ago, they had an argument (one of many) and my son seemed to just "snap" and decided he wasn't putting up with his Dad's bullying any longer. My son used the word "bully" and said he had felt this way all his life. He walked out of our house and has not visited since. I still see him and his wife and I bring our grandson over every week for a visit.

I had hoped things would blow over but neither of them look like giving in or making the first move to make things up. It's getting near to Christmas time and I'm feeling really down about not being able to have a family Christmas. I can't go to my son's house on Christmas Day as that would mean leaving my husband alone. And I can understand my son not wanting our grandson to spend the day with us.

It's not just about Christmas, but that time of year always makes everyday family problems seem worse.

I listen to both my husband and my son's reasons for the breakdown of their relationship, and I can see both sides. But I don't know what to do anymore.

Has anybody been in a similar situation who could offer any advice?

Thank you.

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    is there no way your husband can try and build bridges with your son?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Tell your husband to man up and offer an olive branch. Life's too short for petty arguments.

    Would mediation be any good for them?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    So, from the 2 replies, both suggest my husband make the first move. And I agree. Even though children become adults, as parents we have to be the grown ups during conflict.
    Problem is, my husband doesn't see things this way. We have helped our son a lot over the years financially. But he's our only son and we could afford it. So who wouldn't help their kids when they need it? But my husband thinks all our help over the years overrides everything and he thinks our son should be forever on his knees thanking us, no matter what.
    Every time I ask my husband about making things right, he has the attitude it's not up to him. He honestly thinks because he's been generous with money (and it's my money too) that gives him the right to be pig-headed and stubborn.
    Our son is a good person. He has never been in any trouble, did good in school, has a lovely wife and child. OK so he has his faults, nobody's perfect. But jeez....I'm beginning to feel like my husband is the child here.
    I've suggested counselling but he won't hear of it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    thats such a shame. What a difficult situation for you to be in
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MariaC wrote: »
    So, from the 2 replies, both suggest my husband make the first move. And I agree. Even though children become adults, as parents we have to be the grown ups during conflict.
    Problem is, my husband doesn't see things this way. We have helped our son a lot over the years financially. But he's our only son and we could afford it. So who wouldn't help their kids when they need it? But my husband thinks all our help over the years overrides everything and he thinks our son should be forever on his knees thanking us, no matter what.
    Every time I ask my husband about making things right, he has the attitude it's not up to him. He honestly thinks because he's been generous with money (and it's my money too) that gives him the right to be pig-headed and stubborn.
    Our son is a good person. He has never been in any trouble, did good in school, has a lovely wife and child. OK so he has his faults, nobody's perfect. But jeez....I'm beginning to feel like my husband is the child here.
    I've suggested counselling but he won't hear of it.

    I have to say that I agree with you here but we males can be very pig headed when we want to. I have a FIL who is very similar in his "look at all we've done for you, you should therefore let us run your life" approach to our relationship. Well, I say has it, it's actually a case of used to have it. The crunch came when I also got fed up with the attempt to control me and my family's life. I appreciate that my family = his daughter and his grandchildren, but I objected to the interference and the bullying nature.

    Eventually one day I snapped and told him to leave my house. I have to say that the best aspect here was that my wife stood by me and when he refused (citing "everything we've done for you"!) she told him that he was wrong and that it was our house, not his. He actually punched me before he left. You can imagine the impact that had on the short-term relationship.

    It sounds like both the men in your life have decided what they want to do. There isn't an easy solution to this at all, this is going to take time I'm afraid (it took us several months) but the best help came through our wives. That isn't to say "nagging" or anything like that, but more about showing both what they are missing as a consequence of their approach. The easiest way to do this is through your grandson. When I say that, I mean that pointing out the loss of interaction with your grandson, the family events which you would attend but can't, the school events etc. I'd make him take you and if he chooses to sit outside, then it's he who misses out and not you.

    In the short term that isn't easy, but IME is eventually works because both will realise that they are being unfair to those around them.

    Hope this helps a little. Good luck.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I have to say that I agree with you here but we males can be very pig headed when we want to. I have a FIL who is very similar in his "look at all we've done for you, you should therefore let us run your life" approach to our relationship. Well, I say has it, it's actually a case of used to have it. The crunch came when I also got fed up with the attempt to control me and my family's life. I appreciate that my family = his daughter and his grandchildren, but I objected to the interference and the bullying nature.

    Eventually one day I snapped and told him to leave my house. I have to say that the best aspect here was that my wife stood by me and when he refused (citing "everything we've done for you"!) she told him that he was wrong and that it was our house, not his. He actually punched me before he left. You can imagine the impact that had on the short-term relationship.

    It sounds like both the men in your life have decided what they want to do. There isn't an easy solution to this at all, this is going to take time I'm afraid (it took us several months) but the best help came through our wives. That isn't to say "nagging" or anything like that, but more about showing both what they are missing as a consequence of their approach. The easiest way to do this is through your grandson. When I say that, I mean that pointing out the loss of interaction with your grandson, the family events which you would attend but can't, the school events etc. I'd make him take you and if he chooses to sit outside, then it's he who misses out and not you.

    In the short term that isn't easy, but IME is eventually works because both will realise that they are being unfair to those around them.

    Hope this helps a little. Good luck.

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It helps to know others have similar issues. Your advice is greatly appreciated and I will try the things you have suggested.
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