1. Parenting

Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy Hurts the Children

Share Your Story: Handling Conflict With Adult Children Who Are the Parents of Your Grandchildren

By G Ma

Roots of the Conflict

Our daughter-in-law has a real jealousy problem with the fact that our grandson (the first, and you all know how that is!) has such a love for us. Our son and daughter-in-law were not married early on, so my husband/Grampa and I raised our grandson 80% of the time while our future daughter-in-law was busy being a 21-year-old.

As the years passed and she realized the incredible bond that we had with her son, she became very angry and very nasty towards us. It has been a painful ten years. Not only has she tried to "torture" us by keeping us from our grandson, but also she has hurt him so much through her emotional abuse and lies. That's the biggest sorrow.

What I Did and How It Turned Out

I can't tell you how this situation has "turned out" because it is ongoing.

It is a very sad and depressing situation, good for no one. I do not wish this situation on anyone.

Our daughter-in-law is bipolar, and she has some very big unresolved issues. She has no conscience about injuring other people, even her own children. It is a very scary sad situation. Anyone who has been in this situation will identify. Our son is so scared of her. He is the abused party. Not all "abused" spouses are women. It is very degrading for a man to admit, but husband abuse really exists!

Lessons Learned

  • I have learned that when a person has a severe mental problem, I am not a psychiatrist or psychologist and cannot change or cure them.
  • Every person has their path and like Eleanor Roosevelt said, "No one can make you feeI inferior without your consent."
  • My main agony and fear is that children do not have the wisdom to know all that. They believe what their parents tell them. . . then spend the rest of their adult lives trying to figure it all out and deal with the pain. It is just not fair. . . .

Susan Adcox, About.com Grandparents, says:

In almost all cases of family conflict, the children are the real victims. I like G Ma's quotation from Eleanor Roosevelt, but Eleanor's spouse also had something wise to say: "You can never really live anyone else's life, not even your child's. The influence you exert is through your own life, and what you've become yourself." Grandparents can't live their grandchildren's lives, but they can provide that unconditional love that all children need, and they can provide a model of how life should be lived.

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