We have 3 children that are older adults now, and they have grand kids. They always respected us in the past, even though my husband is their step-father, after they were long out of the house.

Now they ignore us, never visit or offer to help us with anything since my husband is quite ill with many health issues, including Alzheimer's, early stage.

If they have party's most times, we aren't invited. We have always been good to them, and their grandchildren. I think that they all have some sort of a mental problem that doesn't show itself until maturity.

People that know us and how the children were raised can't believe we are being treated this way. The children will call occasionally, but never visit. We ask them to come visit, but they don't . . . They used to come visit all the time,and come to Sunday dinners I would prepare. Since I stopped the Sunday dinners do to the expense of food, and my husband not feeling well. . . . Seems they have no interest in us.
We have been without a vehicle for a good while now, and they don't even bother to ask if we need a ride shopping, to doctors . . .Etc.
I want to just try to forget them at times, but being a mother, it is hard. Any advice. . . Anyone? My husband has always loved them but is turning away now, for he hates the disrespect, especially to me. He can't believe the behavior in all of the family towards us, since we have done nothing. We think it might be because they don't want to make themselves available, for then they may have to help us with things.
We have a nice home, always treated them well in the past, etc., we are baffled.
I could take up much space with examples of their treatment of us, but I won't.
How would you treat this issue, if it was you? I cry all the time.

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I am guilty of not visiting my mom and step-dad much anymore because my step-dad is very rude to me. I mean extremely rude to me! And he has developed mild alzheimers which has made it worse. She is used to the rudeness and tolerates. I will not. AND, he somehow hacked into my email address and my facebook account and snooped through everything, and even sent my private letters to his email address so he could read them! My mom defended him! Said there was nothing wrong with him doing that and what do I have to hide?!! I quit talking to them both for quite a while, but have resumed communications with my mom. I used to only see them on holidays, but now I will go over once or twice a month for coffee if my step-dad is not there. My mom knows the reason I don't come over much is because of him. He is verbally and possibly physically abusive to her. My brothers and I have tried to get her to leave him, but she won't. I think she is afraid of what he might do if she did. I'm sorry, but your children sound selfish. They only want to come if you feed them a lavish meal. The fact that you can't afford it anymore means you have nothing to offer them. But, on the other hand. People get busy living their own lives. It may be hard to get away, especially if they live far away. I hve n't seen my dad since last fall. It is an hour drive and the winter has been harsh and I have been working a lot of 2nd shift OT, so there just isn't time. Maybe you should just forget them as they have you.....
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Remember an old song Cat's in the Cradle. People move on, lives get more complicated and they rather move forward than look back.
First you mentioned that they used to come over and you stopped having dinners, maybe you can invite them again....pasta makes for an inexpensive dinner party. Maybe for your or your husband's birthday.
I would not expect to be invited to all parties, some parties are just not intended to be cross generational, but certainly I would expect to be invited to family celebrattions.
You are the one missing the relationship, so you need to reach out to them.

As to why? Who knows, but the key may be in the past relationships with your children. Was it an emotionally close relationship, or was it a parent/child "expectatons" based relationship?
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ba8alou makes good points. Does you husband have other children that should be included in his care. See an elder attorney if you have not already and make sure all the legal stuff is taken care of
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It sounds to me like you need to be very clear and specific with your children ehat you want and need. How are you getting to your Dr appointments and grocery shopping? Are you managing? How could your kids know that you need help if you don't ask them? It also occurs to me that you've got a golden opportunity here to call the clan together to discuss, honestly and openly, what you and their stepdad are going to need, going forward. Have you arranged for one of them to be your poa? Are hippa forms all in place? Do they know doctor and neighbor phone numbers? Have you thought about how long you're going to be able to manage your husband's needs on your own? Should you be considering assisted living...and do you have current comps on your house so that you can plan financially? Lots of things you should be thinking about and including your children in the discussion is a good way to give them a wake up call.
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Lots of hurt feelings and lots of reasons we don't know because it is only one side of the story.
Did they know the real reson the Sunday dinners stopped or did they think it was because of stepdad's health. Did they miss interpret him going off some where quiet as rejecting them rather than his illness. They probably never offered but did you ever suggest the family make it a pot luck along the lines dstfens suggested..
Running you around to appointments probably would mean missing work for them but have you ever asked. people are not psychic. If you have always managed they dont realize it's more difficult now.
Sitting around crying sounds like depression and another reason they may not want to be around you. Talk to your Dr about that and don't be afraid to use medications. you have a difficult road ahead with your husbands many health issues.
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No way all of your kids developed a late onset mental illness all at the same time. Disrepect? Well, maybe they think they are a burden since the Sunday dinners had to stop - would they have been willing to buy the groceries? Switch to pizza and KFC? Maybe they think you and your hubby are too ill to even have them over any more and feel really sad about it. Should you "FORGET THEM"??? No, that's ridiculous. You are overinterpreting something and judging harshly and then taking it out on yourself. Kids who always respected you before could be asked to do something simple and specific that would help you and they most likely would. But just expecting them to come over or figure out what you really want them to do, or be judged as bad children is not right. What have you actually asked them to do?
I'm not real clear on what you are wanting from them - you want visits, are they for specific times and they say no they are busy, or is it just come over sometime and it never happens? Could you/would you go to their parties if they invited you, or are they trying to spare your feelings at having to turn them down?
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From the experience I had watching my mother and her siblings, the problem of my aunt and uncle steping up to help take care of grandma was because they are both married to VERY controling spouses who feel that it is more important that my aunt and uncle do for their spouse's family then it is for them to do for their own family. Both my aunt and uncle have lived by this and when I was growing up, one family was always on the outs. Now we are the ones on the outs and it actually doesn't bother us. It pisses my mom and her sister off because they did everything for my grandmother and when she passed away the only reason anything has taken so long is because my mom's brother and sister decided to give my aunt and mother the silent treatment, then just today decided that they should all meet tomorrow to discuss Grandma's headstone. and said "No children allowed"

Hopefully something gives and maybe you can talk to your children and find out what happened. Maybe you can all agree to have a Sunday dinner on the 1st or last Sunday of the month every month. A phone call once and a while, doesn't hurt either, it can last for 2 minutes, or 2 hours depending. I hate talking on the phone but I make it a point to talk to my Great Aunt atleast once a week and neither of us like being on the phone so conversations VERY rarely go on past 5 minutes... let alone 3.... Start slow, start with little conversation phone calls on Sunday mornings. 2-5 minutes max, and then eventually they will change and become longer calls, or possibly plans to get together.

Please don't cry about it, your children are just not thinking correctly and if nothing changes now, they will regret it later.

Good luck and let us know how everything turns out.
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Rekjak, they don't visit you or invite you to visit them because they are self-centred, self-indulgent, self-justifying, thoughtless, squeamish, idle ingrates, that's why. Or that's what I grumble to myself about my own scapegrace brothers while I'm out digging the garden and wondering what excuse I'm supposed to make to my mother about why they can't pick up the phone, send her a thank you letter or a card, or visit her even though they seem to have endless time for leisure trips abroad and grand family get-togethers (which they rarely, if ever, include her in).

Actually, in my more charitable moments, I think it's a "line of least resistance" matter. It is EASIER not to visit. It is less painful not to think about how you and their father are getting on. It makes one feel much less guilty if one comes up with all kind of "good reasons" why it's impossible… oh we'd love to but… oh it's so hard to find the time… oh but it's too much effort for poor mother, she's got so much on her plate…

When I think of how to put it nicely, and constructively, to my brothers that they want to get their fingers out and use the next year or two to accumulate some decent karma by paying their mother a moment's attention now and again… well, when I think of how, I'll pass it on.

They're not thinking ill of you. They're just not thinking. Keep inviting them, then at least they can't pretend they don't know you want to see them. Best of luck.
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I personally do not have a "good" relationship with my inlaws and unfortunately out of three children, they treat my husband totally different then they treat his younger brother and sister. Unfortunately for them, they also treat our children (their grandchildren the same). Ironicially when my mother in law had bypass and needed help it was my husband and I that stepped up to help, she lived with us for 2 months until she could get back on her feet. In hoping that it might change but unfortunately it went back to the same behavior on their part. When we do get calls its about their other grandchildren and how wonderful they are when they have two that they ignore. It hurts me and I cant imagine how my husband feels knowing its his parents. Unfortunately our children are seeing that they get treated differently that the other grandchildren and they have voiced this to my husband and I to the point they do not want to go visit their grandparents. Its a shame because we have raised our children to "help" others and treat people how you want to be treated, how do you explain to a 9 year old when he asks "why can't grandma love me like she does John (cousin)". Very hard question to answer.

Wish you well!
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Here is a different perspective. My mother has not visited my home in 16 years. I live in a different state and it is a day's drive or a plane trip for us to visit. I also have not been to my mother's in 3 or 4 years. Why? Well my healthy mother decided 16 years ago that it was my duty to visit her and call her ( did I mention she never calls me either) because she "wasn't able" to visit or call. You see she is a narcissist. So basically she wanted me to pack up three kids to travel all day or fly at great expense so she could be comfortable. It didn't matter that she and my father were retired, healthy and financially well off. I had three children, stayed home with them and then had all three in college at one time.

So she trashed me left and right about not being a good daughter.

Now many years later
here is the strange part, if I called her and told her I was flying up to visit for a week, she will run to my brother and complain I am staying too long (she did this). So I am damned if I do and damned if I don't.

My point here is, make sure you are not contributing to the problem. Communicate with your children. Come right out and ask what is going on. And please listen if they tell you things you may not want to hear. Or maybe they are busy or just selfish. You won't know until you talk about it.

I wish you well. I would love for my mother to truly want me to visit but it is too late for that in my case.
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If dad had Alzheimers and mom was crying all the time, I would feel very uncomfortable. If phone conversations made me feel guilty, I would not call so often. I would hope mom and dad would move to Assisted Living so they are not so lonely. I'm 62 and I know I am not up to doing the physical stuff any more. Housework and home maintenance? I can barely keep up with my own, let alone tackle someone else's. My kids are in their 30's and working full time, so even I can't expect them to do much. Send a card on their birthdays or on holidays. None of us are getting any younger.
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I don't have grand kids yet, but I bet your grown kids are trying to figure out how to be good grandparents and they are trying to deal with their new challenges at this stage of their lives too.

I think back on the day after I moved across the country as a single mother, for a job, where I was over my head and my father just wanted to speak with me every Sunday. One day I told him, Dad... I just don't have time for these phone calls. I have young children who need me, I'm hanging on to my job by my fingernails, I'm stressed about paying bills and keeping a house while I'm working ridiculously long hours.

He said to me, "Sweetie, we all have the same amount of time. The only difference is what we choose to do with it. You have made your decision, your choice. I just want to let you know that I used to speak with my mother every Sunday and one day she died. Now I'm sad that I will never have the chance to speak with her again and I miss her tremendously."

That was a huge learning for me. I thank my Dad for talking with me and trying to help me understand the high stress time in my life was only a moment and that one day, perhaps when I have more time, he will be gone... forever. Honestly, his words didn't make much difference to me that day. I was BUSY!!

Then, a few years later I was transferred back across the country. I decided to set up a Sunday brunch, mostly so my kids would get to know their grandparents. On Sunday I ran to church, then bought bagels and Dunkin Donuts coffee boxes and I invited a few friends (as insulation for me) and my parents for Sunday brunches (I read about doing something like this in the NY Times). Once or twice a month, they fortunately still drove and they came to visit.

My parents were not always easy. They were narcissistic. They lived full adventurous lives and had stories to tell and when we saw them, they took over the conversations completely. One day my grumpy, critical dad said to everyone at the table that he NEVER learned anything from his children! He was an angry guy.

Needless to say, there was a complex mix of good an bad in our lives. I am so thankful that my Dad had that conversation with me. It is one of the many bits of wisdom he shared with me (others were... Save your money, learn to cook for a man and a clean house helps too, :-).

Anyway, this is a very long way of trying to encourage you to talk with your older kids. They don't know what stage of life they are going through. The are probably OVERWHELMED with sporting events, trying to be good grandparents, are they trying to hang onto jobs in a challenging economy, dealing with health issues themselves, ??? etc etc.

Help them, help you. Maybe offer to read to your great grandkids at night on the phone. You are going through a lot with the Alzheimer's diagnosis, and I'm sure you are also learning how to deal with that. I bet they have no idea what to do and they have lots of challenges as well.

Don't give up on them. Reach out to them. Ask them about this situation and listen. Then know it may take time for them to understand what you are telling them.

Ask about their challenges and ask for their advice on this challenge you are facing.

They are probably learning a lot right now. Tell them you're interested. Perhaps you could be the best listener in their lives right now... Everyone needs a good listener.

Although you won't be able to talk, it's better than nothing.

Best wishes to you... and thank you for sharing this question. Undoubtedly many people share your concern. I work on this challenge with my grown sons ... every day.
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I'm so sorry that you are going through this with your family. It sounds like a very difficult situation.

Out of your 3 adult children do you have one that you've been particularly close to? If it were me I would ask that person why they don't come to visit as often anymore. Don't accuse, don't be angry, just ask. However, be prepared to get some kind of excuse. If there IS a reason the person isn't liable to fess up as to why. But maybe just you asking will help. Tell him/her that you miss them and are welcome to come over any time.

Also, your adult children may be uncomfortable around their step-father who has Alzheimer's. While you may not notice as much the changes he goes through as the illness progresses your adult children, who don't see him as often, will notice the changes and may feel uncomfortable around him.

Be honest with your kids. Don't guilt them. Tell them that you are available anytime they wish to visit and how much you'd love to see them. Then see what happens.
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