I saw an older post in which someone discussed their daughter marrying into an abusive-cultish family. This post involves my son and it’s not the same or as severe, but it made me ponder my situation. I have a three part question. Our son’s in law family is very jealous and competing, particularly with us. Lots of silliness and strangeness. The mom is particularly problematic and has gotten a bad rep. of being unhelpful, jealous and narcissistic. Interestingly, her two daughters go way out of their way to build up their mother’s reputation and make her out to be the greatest woman on earth. The mom is constantly worried that our mutual grandchildren will “like us best.” Sometimes odd things happen we think largely if not completely irelated to this competition and jealousy. Question 1: If we ask our son anything that might be related to odd behaviors of our in laws or their family he flies off the handle. He is normal, appropriate and even kind otherwise. But with this...he goes insane. Why? I suspect I can not and will not ever mention anything if this nature again. Some things are more concerning than others. For example...we were babysitting our grandson for a few days. The other GPs had him for the mornings. We would pick up around 12:15 and take him to lunch, watch him and return him when the parents came home from work. Our grand loves hamburgers.* When he is at our house, we have a few places we like to go. He always makes a big fuss over it and thanks us. So, we pick him up one day after the other GPs and say something like “Guess what...we’ve decided to go to your favorite burger (not really burger) place today!” He was quiet. Then he started whispering something and I couldn’t hear him. I asked him to speak up. Then he almost started to cry. He said he no longer liked hamburgers and wasn’t sure if he ever wanted them again. I asked if he was sure and he started whimpering like someone who had been abused. *for a little anonymity I changed the food item.its not hamburgers. It is a food kids love. By coincidence, our son called just then. I told him what just happened and said we were concerned. (We we’re actually freaked out). Son started to fly off the handle and I dropped it. A week later he told me he spoke with grandson about it and the boy said he just didn’t want hamburgers that particular day. But, the truth is many times grand tells us he would rather have one thing over another or one restaurant over another. He NEVER EVER cries, whispers, whimpers etc. He is very forthright. Not shy at all. in my humble opinion this was very suspicious and abnormal behavior. Found out later, the other grandpa had plans to make homemade hamburgers later in the week and invite them all over. We suspect the other grandparents somehow said something to cause the child GREAT anxiety re having this food with us Question 2: Is it plausible the other grands said something to cause him anxiety about this ?. I don’t think this is abuse ...it may have been something subtle. As a side note...there was secrecy involved too as he never explained himself and could not/would not talk about it. How could hamburgers turn into such a stressful and weird thing? Question 3: Do you think just simply ignoring this craziness the best way to extinguish it? To make matters creepier, I am almost forbidden to discuss these oddities with my son. It’s been uncomfortable for me to be in the midst of such strange behaviors, and this goes double when it might involve my grandson and it must go unspoken. I doubly hate the secrecy. Why not just say “If it’s ok, please don’t go for hamburgers for a few days, because we are making some .” PS Today, the child once again loves “hamburgers”. I am slowly coming to terms with this “unusual” family. Please be patient with me. Thank you.