The Prima Donna Rules
My 32 year-old son and I went out to coffee recently just to spend some time together. Being the father of my two beautiful grandchildren he’s pretty busy most of the time, and so our occasional “coffee klatches” are treasured time for me.
During this coffee klatch with my son, we discussed a variety of issues including my daughter-in-law Ann who I love dearly, and her parents. I told my son that I thought his mother-in-law Jill was hiding something major that had happened long before he ever met my daughter-in-law. I went on to explain in as much detail as I could exactly what it was I thought Jill was hiding about the father Jack. No doubt readers will be able to at least make an educated guess as to what I thought had happened between Jack and Ann. I went on to tell my son that I thought Ann had gone to her mother Jill with these accusations but Jill chose not to believe any of it. It was my thought that from then on Jill blamed Ann for ruining her happy perfect little life. My jaw literally hit the floor when my son replied, “I can’t tell you the details but you hit it on the nail head.”
I knew there was increasing tension building between Ann and her mother Jill and had told my son that it was all going to come to a head in the not so distant future. He went on to explain why my assumptions were correct and that he was simply waiting for the right opportunity. I don’t think it was even two weeks later that indeed the tension boiled over between Jill and Ann, and like it or not, I got drawn into the whole thing. I give my daughter-in-law kudos for calling me and telling me that she had repeated what I told my son when confronting Jill. Since then the stepfather Jim has refused to talk to my son, Ann, and especially me. According to the stepfather, “she (me) had no right to say anything like that”. Never mind that it was all true, I just apparently had no right to say it. So the tension when we are all together, for something involving our grandchildren, can be cut with a knife.
I am not angry with my son repeating to Ann what I said; after all she is his wife. Nor am I mad about Ann using what I said when confronting Jill. What I’m truly furious about is that after my son and Ann used what I said about his in-laws, I’m the one who is expected to “keep the peace”. I’m not supposed to say anything, when we are all together, that might upset Miss Prima Donna, otherwise known as Jill. Jim and Jill “Miss Prima Donna” can say and act how they choose and I’m the one who is supposed to take it, suck it up, and walk away, when I didn’t even cause this. Now what kind of crap is that?? I’ve made it plain to my son and daughter-in-law that I’ll try and keep the peace, as much as I can, for one reason and one reason only – my two grandchildren. They are the light of my life. The adults can all go screw themselves as far as I’m concerned, and yes I fully intend to get an occasional dig in.
If there is anyone else with a family situation like this I could use some insights and advice on how to handle all this.
(All names were changed to protect their identity and mine.)