My son recently remarried. I received an email from his new wife listing problems I am causing that she feels are effecting their marriage. There are many inaccurate assumptions in the email. I have not responded. I did text them stating I was brokenhearted that she was hurt by my actions. She feels I am too close to the family of his 1st wife. His 1st wife is the mother of the only grandchildren I will ever have.
My husband and I have become close with the 1st wives parents and consider them to be good friends. I offer support to the 1st wife: taking care of the kids dogs when they are out of town, etc. The 1st wife has remarried and had a child that died of SIDS at 4 mos old. I feel tremendous empathy for any parent who looses a child. I believe, when grandchildren are involved, everyone should be forgiven and treated with respect and kindness. The 1st wife has supposedly been very rude to the new wife. 2nd wife does not want us to have contact with 1st wife & get all info regarding the grand kids from her & my son.
Supposedly, the 1st wife rubs it in their faces that she & I have a 'special' relationship and this infuriates her. I want my son to be content and happy in his new marriage. Also, the 2nd wife cannot have children and the 1st wife has now had another baby.
I'm a little hesitant to respond to this one since I am neither a parent nor a grandparent, and I think family issues can be very touchy. Despite that, I'll try give you my personal feedback.
Your new daughter-in-law... I don't think this should be your problem.
It's good that she is trying to make this issue known and talk it out, especially in a professional way through writing her thoughts down rather than arguing this with you over the telephone or in person. It's not good that she is blaming you for things. You feel you've done nothing wrong, and nothing that shows an unreasonable favoritism to your son's ex over his current wife. So I don't feel like it's on you.
Is your son aware that she sent you this email, or of her feelings about this? Does he have an opinion on the matter? Or maybe he is just trying to keep the peace here?
I would point out that any connection you have to your son's ex-wife is mainly through your grandchild and the parents, and not really so much her. I'm sure you don't hate your son's ex, as you likely shouldn't, but you probably want to stay on good terms with her also anyway. Still, if she did say those things to the new wife, it's worth just saying that you aren't giving any preferential treatment to either of the wives.
You're likely torn on whether or not to bring this up with the son and talk about it with him, but it will likely come up one day, at least casually.
Now there is one other question, and that's does the current wife feel like her family is being a little left out? Do you get on well with her family? Does she seem like she wants to get them involved more?
Like I said, you aren't at fault here. You're trying to be good grandparents. If they're having big marital problems, there is likely more at play here. You want your son to be happy in his new marriage. I would say just that, and relieve yourself of any misplaced blame.
This is a very thoughtful response. I very much appreciate your viewpoint. Thank you for taking the time to respond..