39 answers

Ready to Explode! Need Advice

Okay, I need some advice. Am I way off base here????? My son is engaged to be married in a couple of months. My son and 2 grandchildren have lived with me for the past 3 years and this is his 3rd marriage. His fiance does not live with us and we see her about once a week. She and I don't have a what I call a close relationship but we get along.

Yesterday we had a horrible rain storm. On my way to work I passed a school bus that had been in a fender bender on side of the road. After calling the school I was told it was indeed my grandson's bus. I immediately went to the school to make sure he was okay and called his dad, told him about the accident and assured him everyone was okay. I then went to work. Today I get a text from the fiance stating (and I quote) "next time there is an incident with one of the kids, plz have the courtesy to let me know what is going on".

Here's my question....is it just me or does that come off rude? These are not her children (yet). I notified the parent that has custody. I didn't even call the kid's mom because it was so minor and no one was hurt. The school sent a note home to parents. The school didn't even call. I don't feel it's my job to call her. If my son didn't feel the need to call her then I don't feel I should be put in a position to be responsible to communicate to fiance's or ex-wives. After 2 marriages I try to not get in the middle and leave all the communication stuff to my son.

I'm all for keeping a good relationship but this is only one of many rude texts that she has sent me and I'm REALLY getting tired of her disrespect.

I want to reply but not when I'm mad. When I reply I want it to be tactful but to the point and let her know that my son is responsible to communicate with her, but I'm not sure how to phrase it. I forwarded the text to my son so he will know what was said. I told him I didn't want this type of communication from her and how I felt about it. I'm sure he will say something to her.

Anyone have any tactful replies I can use? I have to remember that the relationship with my son and grandchildren are at stake if I handle it wrong - but I'm not going to be held hostage to her demands. I feel this is only the beginning.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

"I am so sorry you felt out of the loop. I just assumed my son would want to be responsible for telling you."

& yes, you deserve better. She's being a witch. :)

11 moms found this helpful

Just my two cents it sounds like it is coming from both sides. You say you don't have the best relationship with her. She saw it as once again you excluding her, even though it wasn't. You are seeing her text in the context that you didn't leave her out and from that perspective it is rude.

So what I am saying is it does sound rude but it was probably defensive.

5 moms found this helpful

Yes, it comes across as snippy. Take the high road and let it go. You did the right thing by calling their dad, leave it at that. You know you are right, try to take comfort in that. I know, I know, easier said than done. But life will always be easier if you take the high road.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

eesh...I don't think you're going to like my suggestion.

"I am so sorry. To be honest, it didn't even occur to me. I'm just so used to dealing with Son on these things. I will do better. Again, I meant no offense and you're absolutely right - you are going to be a parent of two soon! In the moment, none of that even crossed my mind. Sorry."

I suggest this as a) you are the elder and can take this 'teaching opportunity' to show her how adult families get along. b) your relationship with her is not a reason to exclude her on issues involving the kids; and c) it seems you DID consider texting an ex.

What if you were the fiance and your future MIL didn't say a word when your two step-kids-to-be were in an accident? You went to great lengths to communicate - to Son, to School - heck you even WENT to the school. That's a lot of worrying and activity you had without mentioning anything to her.

14 moms found this helpful

"I am so sorry you felt out of the loop. I just assumed my son would want to be responsible for telling you."

& yes, you deserve better. She's being a witch. :)

11 moms found this helpful

I would say to her "Gosh Susie I am so sorry that I upset you. I am not used to having any of my son's wives take such an active interest in his children. While I am grateful that you are stepping up to this role, I'm a bit more comfortable communicating through my son, I assumed he would tell you".

What does your SON want, as far as the relationship/communication between his mom and his new wife? I guess that would be my question.

I'm glad your grandson was OK.

8 moms found this helpful

Apologize to her and tell her that you thought her fiance would call her - you figured that the "chain" of calling would go into effect. Do this because she is already acting in the role of soon-to-be mom and wants to feel included. Do it because you want her to "like" you. Maybe this marriage will stick, and they will move out on their own. Do it so that she will still want you to be involved with the children after they are out of your house. ESPECIALLY do it if they are all going to still live with you.

It might grate at you, but you'll benefit in the long run.


8 moms found this helpful

I wouldn't reply to her text at all. I really wouldn't.

The incident is over now, you did the right thing by contacting your son who is the father of your grandchildren. It's his responsibility to let Woman A and Woman B know what happened. If you couldn't have gotten in touch with your son, that might have been different, especially if there were injuries involved, but none of that was the case.

I don't know what other things she's texted you, but texts can be misinterpreted. I don't know that what she texted was all that rude other than to infer that it wasn't courteous of you not to contact her as well.
Don't take the bait and get worked up.
If she's not cool with her own fiance being the one to tell her something like this, that's between the two of them.

You're not being held hostage to anything.
She's probably just feeling like since she's marrying your son that she should be on speed dial for you.

Since it wasn't a true emergency, I think you covered the bases.
You have nothing to feel badly about. Don't respond and let this one go.

Best wishes.

7 moms found this helpful

I would nicely respond that you were on your way to work and just assumed your son would call her. Perhaps we should work out a "communication plan" for the future because sometimes I simply don't have time to make more than one phone call."

I don't think she's trying to be rude or offensive, I think she's just trying to figure out her role as a step mom and also trying to let you know that she wants to be involved in things concerning the children. Honestly, I think that's a good thing.

It is very hard to come into a "ready made family." Give her some time to make the adjustment and feel secure in her role as stepmom.

6 moms found this helpful

You know, there are just too many holes in the story of your relationship with the woman to give you good advice.

Based on what I do know from this post....I think you boo-booed big time. She will be your grandchildren's mother, (albeit step-mother) through marriage, in a matter of weeks. She is the woman in your son and his children's lives right now. If the accident happend after the wedding, she would definitely be responsible for those kids and if it were bad enough, the school would have been obliged to inform her as much as your son.

I know you said this accident wasn't a big deal. But IMO, if you thought the accident was big enough to call your son, then it was a big deal to you and as your future daughter-in-law she would probably concur with your feelings. And because of her emotional investment in this relationship, and her future marriage to your son and his children, she definitely has a right to know too.

Sounds to me like there is a lot of tension between the two of you and it's clouding your feelings and judgements of her. If she's sending what you perceive as rude e-mails, have you stopped to wonder what percipitated her reactions and responses? Have you considered you may be reading too much into the e-mails because of your true feelings about this woman?

As for her urgency and response, for all you know, maybe your son got mad at her because she came off uncaring because she didn't know about the accident.

If I were in her shoes, I might also think your ignoring her with important family news despite a pending wedding might harken a troubled future in this family...or at the very least with you.

Playing devil's advocate, her e-mail sounds more like a frustrated and deeply hurt person...not someone trying to be rude or put you in your place. If you feel you are being cut out of the family picture by your husband's mother during a semi-serious family crisis what is it going to be like if something that is even more important or serious happens? Being ignored would hurt deeply and create emotional wedges where there needn't be. It was a breach in protocol...the same as saying you are not family...you are not important...you do not matter.

I think you and your daughter to be need to come together and air things out for the sake of your grandkids and your son. You certainly don't want to be a factor in yet another divorce. Which if you have been known to do these sorts of things with the past wives, you could very well have been. How sad for your son and his children. It's tantamount to "meddling" in the most sneaky way...and truly wrong and manipulative.

Don't jump to conclusions. Don't do passive-agressive moves (that's what this is by the way). Be a peacekeeper and give the woman a chance. You may find he has finally found the right one.

6 moms found this helpful

I would not reply at all. Let your son take care of it. Not all messages require a response.

Yes, it sounds rude but she may not have intended it that way. If she says something to you in person just tell her that you called their father and it's up to him to call her if he wants to. You were on your way to work and needed to be quick about it. Say you had no idea it would upset her. It just didn't seem important.

I suggest that she's feeling like an outsider since she doesn't live with the children. It's a problem she will have to deal with. You can't help her except to include her when she's at your house.

At some point you might want to talk with her and your son about how you try very hard to stay out of the middle, that you're used to communicating with your son and will continue to do that.

I agree that you did nothing wrong. Apparently she is extra sensitive which is understandable considering the circumstances. As you said they're not married yet. Her relationship with you and the children and possibly even with your son is in limbo.

FYI My daughter is married to the children's step father. I still only call one of them, whichever one is least apt to have their work interrupted. In circumstances such as yours I'd probably have called my daughter because she is my daughter and the communication didn't require action. It's a pattern of communicating we've had since she was a child. And her husband would not have taken offense. But then they've been married for awhile.

I do remember that we had to spend more time being clear about establishing protocol for communication at the beginning. You're in the beginning of establishing a relationship. I would consider that she is just letting you know she wants to be a part of the loop. You saying that you want to call your son and let him tell her is a reasonable boundary for you to state. Just as it was reasonable for her to let you know she wanted a call, tho she could've stated it in a more diplomatic way. Now it's time to talk and decide how this sort of thing is to be handled.

6 moms found this helpful

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