May 9, 2012, 10:34 AM
My daughter, now 22, moved 2,000 miles away at age 21 after graduating college last year to live with her long distance boyfriend of 2 years. She got engaged to him, & was married shortly after. I don't have a problem with the fact that when kids move out & marry, your relationship with them changes - I was prepared for that. But right after she got there, she totally changed. She & I had a falling out because she was going to sell the wedding dress we had picked out together. She'd chosen to forgo the small private ceremony she had planned before she left home with our small savings of $5,000 (all we had at the time) for a $40,000 wedding given by her future in-laws (mostly coordinated by her fiancé’s mother.) I had nothing against his parents, they seemed like nice people. But she went out of her way to please his mom because according to her they hadn't had a real wedding of their own, so she wanted to give my daughter & her son one (she also has an older daughter, for whom they threw a large wedding several years ago, as well.) My daughter's fiancé said he didn't want them to have a "sham wedding", so she went along with it. I only wanted her to be happy, but she then blocked our phone # after we had the argument, & tried to convince my husband to leave me (something her fiancé had pulled with his parents a few years back, as well.) But we were a happily married couple, so her plan didn't work. We didn't speak for a few months, & when we started speaking again she began to accuse me of abusing her to the extent of giving her nightmares, showing her "dirty movies," & numerous other complete lies. She cut us out of the wedding, & played "the poor little neglected child with deadbeat parents" to get sympathy. For months now I've eaten humble pie for the sake of keeping the peace. The truth is, though, that we treated her like a queen when she was growing up, & living here while she attended 4 years of college. My husband & I hardly ever fought with her because we always gave her what she wanted, so there was no reason to. She & I did have an argument occasionally, mostly because of her terrible temper. She once told my husband to "f**k off," slamming his car door & making a scene. A month ago, she started a fight on the phone & hung up on us. We haven't heard a word from her since. My husband & I have both been to counseling, & were told she may be controlled by the husband & his family, or going through a phase. We have considered the possibility she may be drinking, since she was always "her father's daughter," & this could account for the radical personality change. Her husband didn't like me because when she lived here she would tell me how mean he was to her, & I confronted him about it on a few occasions (upon which he was livid.) Aside from being concerned for her wellbeing, since she has also weakened her ties with other family members besides us, I'm inclined to follow the advice of my sister, & sister-in-law (who up until 2 weeks ago, communicated with her sometimes) to let her go & not contact her to see if everything’s okay with her. We sent her a "future Mother's Day" gift as a kind gesture, but I'll be surprised if I even get a card from her. This is the same girl who always told me I was the best mother in the world when she lived here, also telling my husband & me she'd never forget about us - now she claims she made that up. My husband & I feel so lost. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.