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Problem Solving => Daughter in Law's or Son in Law's Parents => Topic started by: gettingoldandcranky on November 11, 2013, 07:11:31 AM

Title: holidays approaching
Post by: gettingoldandcranky on November 11, 2013, 07:11:31 AM
we are still in the same situation.  dil's mom is with them constantly - lived w/them for months.  she doesn't work, seems to just live for her dd and grands.  has taken over and we have even seen her tell my ds what to do in his own home!
so far, we have been allowed a visit for thanksgiving each year and every time are asked if dil's mom can come.  i am so tired of having her there - not only are we watched constantly by dil, but her mom follows the babes around and watches how everyone interacts w/them. they are like hawks.
my ds gets upset if i say, plse no mil.  once we said no mil and she came anyway.
know it would be bad if i say, no mil - if she is so important just stay at ur home and do holiday w/her.
what do u wise women think?
Title: Re: holidays approaching
Post by: luise.volta on November 11, 2013, 07:57:26 AM
My take is that it's their call regarding who they invite into their home both occasionally and on a more permanent basis. Your expectations make sense to me but they are yours and they have no responsibility to meet them. In turn, it's your call regarding how you want to deal with it. You aren't going to change it. Taking any kind of action could bring about consequences you would need to anticipate in advance. The price seems equally high, to me, whether you continue to take it or whether you remove yourself from the situation. My experience is that raising my sons was the easy part. Letting them go was/is something else, entirely. Sending love...
Title: Re: holidays approaching
Post by: Stilllearning on November 11, 2013, 11:50:24 AM
  You are allowed a visit......at their house or yours?  If you invite them to your house and they constantly invite your DIL's mom then don't invite them.  Invite someone that would bring joy to your holiday and let your DS/DIL host all the turkeys they want. 
Title: Re: holidays approaching
Post by: DixieDarling on November 11, 2013, 12:04:32 PM
In your shoes I'd try to become friends with DILs mom. If possible? the old "keep your enemies close".
If you can stand the woman that is?
It will make it easier to spend more time with your son and grandchildren. In your shoes Id work on making those two women think I thought they were fantastic people. Maybe it will help if they don't see you as the "other side"?
Kill them with kindness kinda thing. I don't know if this is even an option?
Title: Re: holidays approaching
Post by: herbalescapes on November 12, 2013, 05:04:04 AM
Don't gamble more than you can afford to lose.  You definitely can't stop them from having the other GM over at their house.  When you invite them to yours you can say no to the other GM, but that's risking them turning down your invitation.  DS and DIL have made the other GM a package deal with them.  Really ain't anything you can do about it.  It's up to you if tolerating her is worth being with DS and his family.  If you say No, you'll have plenty of sympathetic ears here.  Plenty have been in similar situations (though maybe with a slight change in characters).  Good luck. 
Title: Re: holidays approaching
Post by: gettingoldandcranky on November 13, 2013, 08:10:05 AM
thanks for advice.  know i have to decide.  i need to make a decision one way or another.  just a hard one - knowing that if i say no to mil they might not come.  but SO tired of being left out of everything - i'm not invited to things that she can participate in.  i sound so jealous and i am.  don't like being disrespected.
Title: Re: holidays approaching
Post by: luise.volta on November 13, 2013, 08:25:52 AM
My experience is that not liking the way something is takes me to a place where I can hardly function. I look at the pros and cons of imagined actions and know I can't win either way. My expectations aren't going to be met no matter what. I have learned the hard way that thinking I really have a choice is where I get stuck. They have made choices I have to accept or be excluded...and who would choose exclusion? That's not really a choice at all. Bottom line...for me...is my own self respect and the amount of neglect/abuse I am willing to submit to. The implication is that I am invisible and don't matter unless I take a stand and say otherwise. That's where the rubber meets the road. My choice, long ago was to disagree. I am not invisible and I do matter.
Title: Re: holidays approaching
Post by: gettingoldandcranky on November 16, 2013, 04:46:05 AM
thanks louise.  i am not invisible and i do matter.  sitting here again after making attempts at contact - emails and phone call - with no responses.
will try again to back away.  i do well for awhile - make no contact.  then, when ds makes contact, i get involved again and end up getting hurt - again.  this is so hard.  and the holidays make it stand out even more.
thanks for the support.
Title: Re: holidays approaching
Post by: luise.volta on November 16, 2013, 11:39:09 AM
Yes you do matter...a lot!
Title: Re: holidays approaching
Post by: wisewomanalso on November 21, 2013, 09:31:16 AM
I hope that the plans have been resolved for Thanksgiving and that you are going to enjoy them with your family.  I think I understood correctly that it is at your house and they want to (as they always do) to include her mom.

I believe in my heart that as the mother of three boys that I have to look ahead at being the less important one in their family structure.  I raise them to be independent and to look for a wife that will make them happy - and it makes sense to me that a daughter would tend to be more close to her mom and thus they would have more time together.  And, because a son is a male, I would expect that would ultimately mean that he spends more time with his wife's family.  I know that it will hurt at times, but I also believe that if you just accept it as a part of human nature, and move forward, you will in turn be happier in your own life.

That's not to say that you can't expect to have special moments with your children - it'll just be in a different amount as we tend to measure in time spent.  They come to your home on Thanksgiving - even if they want to bring his mom.  I think you should embrace that and enjoy that time. 

Maybe even look at it like this - they want you to share in their family unit on these special days.  If they didn't - then you'd find they'd pull away at that Holiday as well. 

There's a saying that says "make the most of ....." and I guess you can finish that in any way that you want.  But I'd say, make the most of the time you do have together!  If they see you in that positive way and this welcoming way then you might be surprised by their reaction.  I would also tell you to - open the invite up to her mom next year - ahead of them having to ask.  That gesture may go a long way in how things progress for you and in your relationship with them.
Title: Re: holidays approaching
Post by: Pooh on November 21, 2013, 11:10:09 AM
All of us here wisewomanalso, that have been through this, expected exactly what you are outlining.  The problem is, most of the time it doesn't end up that way.  It sounds idealist to say I thoroughly expect my Son, when he takes a wife to become a family unit and be happy.  It's also idealist for most of us to recognize that typically a wife is more close to her side/Mother.  That is not an issue.  It's when the DS is absorbed into the other family completely and your family ceases to exist.

It's also very hard, speaking from experience, to try to be welcoming to the other Mother, but have the other Mother act like you need to be supervised with her grandchildren.  Yes, her grandchildren.  Because that's how she thinks of them.  I hope you don't ever have to experience this with any of your Sons and that you can make it all work out.  Unfortunately, it doesn't always work out the way you planned and many times you're left with the decision that trying to accompany every request and demand leaves you feeling inadequate, disrespected and unloved.

I'm sure you never expected to have the in-law problems you encountered and had a preconceived notion of if you behaved a certain way, they would.  I certainly know I would have never expected any of this out of my Son.
Title: Re: holidays approaching
Post by: shiny on November 21, 2013, 11:25:02 AM
WWA said:
And, because a son is a male, I would expect that would ultimately mean that he spends more time with his wife's family.  I know that it will hurt at times, but I also believe that if you just accept it as a part of human nature, and move forward, you will in turn be happier in your own life.

(Not sure how to do quotes here, duh)

This sounds like a great plan, a successful formula;
however, as the mom of a son, and experiencing the same issues, yeah, it hurts.
Like a dagger in your heart.
And unless a person has traveled the road, the directions may not apply...
Title: Re: holidays approaching
Post by: luise.volta on November 21, 2013, 11:55:33 AM
I love that saying about not being able to give useful directions on a road not yet traveled. I find it profound!

This is not a Website for Gurus, real or imagined. If anyone here wants to start her own counseling and advice Website, please feel free to use mine as a prototype. www.MomResponds.com

Guru-ism isn't practiced here...and members that insist, are deleted.
Title: Re: holidays approaching
Post by: Pooh on November 22, 2013, 06:17:03 AM
And unless a person has traveled the road, the directions may not apply...

Love this!
Title: Re: holidays approaching
Post by: DixieDarling on November 22, 2013, 08:20:40 AM
And unless a person has traveled the road, the directions may not apply...

Love this!
I 2nd the Love!
And I also can completely understand what you ladies are saying about feeling less in the new family unit because your child was a boy. It hurts! Also makes me feel silly that I put up with my MIL for the last 30 yrs. always kind and polite. I love my husband and of course he loves his family as much as I do mine. I never dreamed I could just say NO I don't like her. LOL Silly me!!
Title: Re: holidays approaching
Post by: gettingoldandcranky on November 23, 2013, 04:39:47 AM
it is funny and sad that i too put up with lots of my mil.  because she loved her son and her grandchildren and why would i hurt someone by taking that away?  didn't hurt my life (too much) to make her happy.  and my husband and my children had another person in their lives who loved them completely.  will NEVER understand how my dil thinks that her babies will care any less for her or their other grandmother if i could get to know and love them.  smh.........
Title: Re: holidays approaching
Post by: luise.volta on November 23, 2013, 07:22:53 AM
I was so touched by your ability to see that your husband and children "had another person in their lives who loved them completely." It would be so much easier to say that they don't know who she really is...when she has shown you another side...followed by a relentless campaign to convince them.
Title: Re: holidays approaching
Post by: DixieDarling on November 23, 2013, 03:18:15 PM
@gettingO&C, you said, (will NEVER understand how my dil thinks that her babies will care any less for her or their other grandmother if i could get to know and love them.  smh........) I will NEVER understand that line of thinking either.
I told one of my DILs that I was happy her family was crazy about GRANDSON too! He deserves all the love in the world. It's not a silly contest.
Title: Re: holidays approaching
Post by: Pen on November 26, 2013, 09:39:37 PM
As a member of an unlucky FOO that is being "left behind" because DS is being absorbed into a shiny, new family, I can say it isn't easy to simply accept it and move on. We're talking about a big chunk of my life here! If I were retiring from a profession into which I'd pored my heart & soul for a quarter century, I'd at least get some sort of celebration or show of appreciation.

Although I am working on acceptance, one stumbling block for me is that I still don't understand how people can treat others so callously. I guess if they don't really see them as being equal they don't feel the need to be compassionate. That's what hurts - that I'm not seen as an equal human being.
Title: Re: holidays approaching
Post by: shiny on November 30, 2013, 03:21:31 PM
Pen, I agree with you a billion percent.
My DS also has been absorbed into his new family and even apologizes to me that they are with them all the time while muttering something like "I guess that's how it is in marriage."
Well, I'm wanting to have a heart to heart talk with him, and let him know how much it hurts, but then, I don't want anyone coming to my house under guilt or obligation.
And, last year I attempted to explain some of my feelings to him and he said I was stressing him out. So, I said "fine, furget about it" and just left him alone. But, of course, the pain and raw emotions are still there, continually festering.
Hopefully, as time goes on, and I focus on other things in life, this will heal.
Title: Re: holidays approaching
Post by: Stilllearning on November 30, 2013, 04:41:49 PM
It is hard to let them go and it hurts, but the harder we try to pull them back the more they struggle to be free.  Sometimes if we let go they miss us.  Sometimes they even move towards us.  I hope yours misses you....and soon. 
Title: Re: holidays approaching
Post by: shiny on November 30, 2013, 11:41:58 PM
SL, thanks for your kind words -- they touch my heart.
I read a post on the forum awhile back, and can't recall who wrote it, but it went something like:
They understood how the son and DIL are supposed to "leave and cleave" and even that is hard to adjust to but necessary, of course. And it makes it easier to swallow when both sets of oarents are treated equally. But when the son's family is shunned while they all get in a love huddle with her folks, it really hurts. This is where I'm stuck and trying to move past. Can't the sons see that this is not right? We know our son loves us and he connects with us frequently, but mostly without her.
Title: Re: holidays approaching
Post by: Stilllearning on December 01, 2013, 03:10:58 AM
Oh Shiny, I am so there!  My DIL's FOO is practically living with them!  Meanwhile I never saw or heard from them.  This went on for two years.  No calls for Mother's Day, Father's Day, Birthdays or Christmas. And that awful facebook let me know that the other family was being recognized on all occasions.  When we sent presents we were not even notified that they were received.

Then they got pregnant.  Somewhere along the line they decided that the baby should have two sets of grandparents so they started showing up over here.  We offered rocking chairs and like all the other offers of furniture it was completely ignored.  We were offering antiques (real antiques, not just old and used) and I think she wants new furniture, which is her right.  One day during one of their rare visits she mentioned how much furniture her parents had given her for the nursery and I said "Of course they did sweetie, they are so involved!  I am so happy for you!"  Before I found this site I would not have reacted that way to her comment.  It would have hurt me and I would have brewed about it for a long time.  What is the difference?

The difference is that I decided that she did not have the power to make me feel hurt if I decided not to be hurt.  The difference is that I was loving my life even without my DS in it.  The difference is that I found out that my life was happier if I was not that involved in their lives.  The difference is that I am no longer desperately trying to be included.  Jealousy is a very unhappy emotion, one that should be kicked out of our lives.

The road to get to this point can be a long one but it starts when you decide that you have a life to enjoy regardless of whether your DS enjoys it with you.  You have finished your job.  Now is your time.  Just remember that what you focus on expands so keep your focus on the things that bring you joy and one day, hopefully, your DS and DIL will be among those things. 

Good luck!!
Title: Re: holidays approaching
Post by: luise.volta on December 01, 2013, 08:45:03 AM
How wonderful it can be when we stop trying to make sense of the senseless. Whew! Sending love...
Title: Re: holidays approaching
Post by: shiny on December 01, 2013, 09:34:01 AM
If my posts are hijacking your thread, GOAC, I apologize. I'm still learning the ropes here, but want to respond to SL.

SL, you hit the nail on the head and said exactly what I needed to hear!
 
Hopefully this train of thought will propel me forward: namely, that you discovered you were happier NOT being that involved.

While dealing with this issue for the past few years, sometimes I would have a fleeting thought that less involvement is really the way it should be.

I believe when parents are too involved in their AC's married life, it's not healthy for either party for a variety of reasons. They have enough issues to deal with to make the marriage work without the added in-law problems.

It probably is a blessing in disguise, not being under their coat tails all the time. I don't think I would have any peace, knowing more than I need to know. Would only give me stuff to worry about and I'm tired of that anyway.

And I agree, jealousy is a beast. I do not want to live in that horrible bondage.

Luise, you're spot on--trying to make sense out of the senseless is wearisome!
Title: Re: holidays approaching
Post by: luise.volta on December 01, 2013, 10:02:14 AM
...and futile! ???
Title: Re: holidays approaching
Post by: DixieDarling on December 01, 2013, 03:01:41 PM
Oh SL, I'm so where you were with my youngest son. I want to get to where I don't want to cry. I love my son and have always been so proud if him. He comes and sees us weekly but not the new wife. She makes the (I should) appearance on holidays but that's is all.
I have thought about why it hurts my feelings I guess it's because my son loves her so much that I'd like to be (friendly) with her.
She has refused any gift we've offered for the new baby. I thought at first it was maybe because she's so wealthy? But then she gets excited talking about the wonderful used things her Mother has gotten the baby. I know now it was because it was from us.
They are building their new home next door to her family now.
It would be nice if she would put out the effort with her husbands family as our son has with hers.
I don't need nor want to be her best friend.
I don't have the "her family-his family" issues with my other 2 DILS. Just this one. We've talked to our son a little but I'd rather cry alone than put him in the middle. While raising my sons I didn't know when they married I would no longer be a parent. Or a family member that mattered.
Young women should stop and ask their selves how they would feel if their husband behaved like they did?
Title: Re: holidays approaching
Post by: Stilllearning on December 01, 2013, 05:57:32 PM
Dixie....lucky you to have your son visit weekly!!  Sometimes we look so longingly at the empty hand we forget that the other is full.  Count your blessings, bide your time, enjoy your weekly visits and hug those other two DILs that much harder!!
Title: Re: holidays approaching
Post by: DixieDarling on December 01, 2013, 10:03:19 PM
SL, I hadn't thought of this that way and I should have. You're right. I'm very blessed! Thank you for pointing it out to me. The reality check I needed. ((HUGS))