Dear Annie: I raised my son, who is now 41, as a single mom. I am 75. My son and I have always been very close. Ten years ago, he married a very intelligent woman, and now I have two beautiful grandchildren.
I was getting along well with everyone, but now my life is so depressing because my daughter-in-law hates me. She is angry with me and thinks I’m a horrible person because my son was conceived during a one-night stand while on vacation, and I didn’t remember the man’s name or any details about him.
Two years ago, my son found his father through DNA tests, and it turned out to be so wonderful. They now love each other. My son is so happy, but his wife still hates me.
I do their housework and more, and I just ignore her to avoid confrontation. I’m now not allowed to visit there, as I ruined one of her sweaters when doing the laundry. I offered to replace it, but she said NO.
I’m so depressed because I miss my family and the pandemic has kept me isolated. My son has to agree with her to keep the peace. At this point, my health is being affected. What should I do?
— Feeling Very Lonely
Dear Lonely: Your daughter-in-law sounds entitled, judgmental and cruel. She is bullying you for a choice made four decades ago — that resulted in her meeting her future husband. Given that your son picked her and she is the mother of your grandchildren, you should find a way to make it work. That doesn’t mean being a doormat, either. Speak with your son to try and better understand why you are not allowed over. Tell him just what you told me — that you are lonely because of the pandemic and miss them so much. Also, know that you are not alone; many people feel depressed after a year of isolation.
You raised your son without any support whatsoever. The goal is harmonious family relations, but your son, and his father, should stick up for you. I hope they do. Good luck — and keep us posted.