Dear Annie: For years, I have tried to have a relationship with my two daughters-in-law, and at some point, I finally gave up. Now, when we get together, the family gatherings are not horrible. But at best, they are superficial.
It is difficult to have conversations when they text nearly the entire time – which I never address – or converse back and forth between each other and ignore me, even when I interject into conversations. It is as if I’m invisible or in a cone of silence.
When the holiday or event is over, then it’s goodbye with a kiss and a hug and out the door until the next major birthday or holiday. I have, in the early years, tried to meet them for lunch – on my dime – or go shopping, but they have always respectfully declined.
This apathy has carried over into my grandchildren. All of them are so close and personable with the other grandparents, who are wonderful people, and I do understand how daughters are just naturally close to their moms, so it stands to reason that the grandchildren would be closer to them since more time is spent there.
I am a grieving mom and grandmother who has tried, to no avail. I feel loved at a distance and pray for a better connection and relationship. I am thankful for the moments I have had, even with the feeling of distance. At least they haven’t gone out of my life completely. – Grieving Grandmother
Dear Grieving Grandmother: You are wise to be grateful for the good moments you have had. If you focus on what you appreciate, you will attract more of that. In the meantime, where are your sons? I would suggest that you take them to lunch, rather than your daughters-in-law, and let them know that you are feeling left out.
Along the same lines, if your daughters-in-law are texting and ignoring you during a holiday dinner, why not use that as an opportunity to talk to your sons and grandchildren?
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