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Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Re: Upcoming visit with Dad
« Last post by Green Thumb on Today at 02:18:47 PM »
Pen, it is probably all of the things you wonder, mostly probably wanting his love and affection or attention. Try to see this visit as something you do for yourself, to be about yourself.

If you detach from wanting anything from this visit other than to see him alive one more time, it will be easier to deal with. Allow yourself to detach emotionally from the negativity that might be said to you. Because the guilt comments are not about you, they are about an issue inside of the person speaking them. It is not you, it is them. Don't take it personally. Some people are just mean spirited or critical and it is about what is lacking or broken inside of themselves.

And remember, you don't have to explain anything to either one of them, you are an adult. Remember not to justify, argue, defend or explain (JADE). This is you power, so hang on to your inner power. If SM gives you guilt, don't respond, get silent, or respond to her emotion "You wish I was here for another day...." don't let her make you defensive. They are lucky to have you come to visit. So ENJOY it as much as you can and let us know how it goes.
Grab Bag / Re: Today Was My 89th Birthday
« Last post by autumnwoman on Today at 07:00:28 AM »
Luise, Happy Belated Birthday.  I haven't been on the site for a long time but I visited this morning. It sounds like you had an amazing day and I wish you many more.  I can't tell you how much this site has saved me from the depths of sadness and sorrow.    I'm still estranged from my OS and grandsons but I am at peace. Just being able to get your side of the story told and to have such positive helpful beautiful women always there to support you is a blessing.   :)
Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Re: Upcoming visit with Dad
« Last post by Bamboo2 on Today at 05:55:27 AM »
I love Luise's response to your wonderings, Pen, and I think that you answered your own question by saying "It's about taking care of myself while honoring my dad."  Your don't have to be clear on the motivations for the visit in order to follow your gut.  It is commendable to take along friends who have your back and give you strength at a vulnerable time.  I often have a tendency to regress and revisit old issues internally when visiting my dad, or even calling him.  I get anxious before every trip and put off making phone calls.  It usually goes better than I think, and shorter is always better.  Then I see or spend the rest of my time visiting my mom, with whom I feel I can let my hair down and relax. This is what your friend will presumably offer you.  Be kind to yourself, and remember that you're doing the best you can.  You've got this, Pen! Sending a big hug your way!
Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Re: Upcoming visit with Dad
« Last post by luise.volta on April 27, 2016, 08:31:37 PM »
My take is you are not're human. We mature to the place where we know there is no black and totally perfect and no totally imperfect. How could you not have all of this coming up? I admire your approach in going with a friend...with you eyes wide open. You are feeling the inner conflict, the disappointments, the very simple but totally unfulfilled expectations involving kindness and understanding. Your dad is who and how he is and so is your step mother. You didn't get to vote. Over the years, I have seen you come to grips with being supportive of your dear disabled daughter and your dear son...who chose to take his loyalties elsewhere. It the core is your dignity...the contribution you have made to society as a teacher...and your love for your guy. You're not what happened to you...and you're not what happened to others, you're the person you have become over, under, around and through all of that...solid, beautiful, vulnerable.
Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Upcoming visit with Dad
« Last post by Pen on April 27, 2016, 08:02:50 PM »
Hi, WW!

As my once every couple of years visit with my dad/SM approaches, I'm trying to pay attention to my emotional state so I can be cool, calm and lovingly detached. There is a lot of baggage there - in fact, my close friends who know our history (and were present for a lot of it) wonder why I spend the time and $$$ to travel all the way across the continent to see him when usually it is a less than fulfilling visit.

Am I making the effort in a weird attempt to insure my DS/DDD will still visit me in a couple of decades?
Am I simply of the "dutiful daughter" generation?
Am I still trying to get dad/SM to acknowledge and approve of me?

I noticed I was starting to get anxious, a little depressed and a bit insecure (about my weight, my finances, my aging face, etc etc etc. Yikes!!)

However, I've decided to limit my exposure this trip - traveling with a dear friend and planning a lot of sightseeing activities w/her and her DS, so I'm not able to spend more than a few hours in the presence of my dad and his wife. My SM might try to make me feel guilty and will more than likely talk badly about me to her AC...but it's about taking care of myself while honoring my dad.

How I wish it could be different! I pray my own AC don't feel this way about me!!

Am I nuts or what?  :P
Daughter in Law's or Son in Law's Parents / Re: Wrong to be hurt?
« Last post by Green Thumb on April 22, 2016, 08:15:13 AM »
You mentioned trying to please everyone and this is the real root of the problem. If you felt confident in your decision to use your cousin's advice and not use pink granite, you'd be able to brush off MIL comments and not argue this with husband.

The need to please everyone and be liked is often rooted in our own low self esteem or feeling like we are unworthy or not lovable. Having weak boundaries is inside of us, not caused by the MIL or husband. Work on these issues inside yourself rather than focusing on conflict with MIL.

Like I said before, stop including her in your personal life in order to get affirmation or love from her. Isn't going to happen and just makes you miserable. You are chasing the wrong thing. Get your affirmation from inside of yourself and if you can't do this, counseling will truly help.

I know as I am.
Daughter in Law's or Son in Law's Parents / Re: Wrong to be hurt?
« Last post by luise.volta on April 21, 2016, 10:11:51 AM »
What often needs to eventually be worked on is our support system. Good for you for seeing the strong difference between your cousin's approach and your MIL's. DH comes from that home and  it was his norm. He didn't agree but he learned not to openly disagree. You are left to do that, which can't help but bring discord to your marriage. Where he grew up was her home. Where the two of you live is in a newly established family unit. It may be time for some relationship counseling. Hugs...
Daughter in Law's or Son in Law's Parents / Re: Wrong to be hurt?
« Last post by starfire on April 21, 2016, 07:27:05 AM »
Thank you all so much, I never heard of the NO JADE, I need to try that. My issue is now that my husband doesn't see the big deal in his mom trying to help since my cousin did. I tried to explain this is my cousin job, she does this and gets paid for it every day. My cousin was very kind since I am related to her and just charged us for materials and not her time. I tried explaining my taste and his mothers is very different, her taste is a lot more bold while I am a lot more traditional. He is also more traditional, and while he doesn't like his mother bold taste also he wants to make her happy. So that's where I am running into a bind.

Thank you all for everything again.
Daughter in Law's or Son in Law's Parents / Re: Wrong to be hurt?
« Last post by Pen on April 16, 2016, 07:53:14 PM »
I've been trying to pull my house together for years, lol. When I ask for advice, my friends with good taste are free to tell me what they think. It would be awful to have my step-MIL thinking she had a right to do interior designing in my home! Her taste is terrible, lol.

This kind of work is fun, but stressful in some ways. You do not need the added stress of your MIL (or anyone else who's help you did not ask for) butting in.

Buy a pillow, vase or canister for a "pop of color" that you can ditch after your MIL leaves.  ;)
Daughter in Law's or Son in Law's Parents / Re: Wrong to be hurt?
« Last post by NewMama on April 14, 2016, 04:42:18 AM »
Just because she tells you that you have to do this or that with your house, or is buying things for it that you didn't ask for or want, doesn't mean you have to listen to her or use the items.

I get these sense that you are trying very hard to get along with your MIL. But there comes a point where you a bending a bit too much to try to get along with her. I'm not saying you shouldn't be putting effort into that relationship, but eventually resentment sets in, and long term that is not good for your relationship with her. That was one thing I tried very hard to get my DH to understand, that each individual thing looked small, but after months and years of biting my tongue I was getting resentful that nothing was being dealt with and eventually I was probably going to lose it at his mom over something stupid. And there would probably be no going back.

It took a while to get my DH to understand. Recently we had a situation where my MIL took it upon herself to deal with a home reno we need to have done. I was livid, my DH told me he that although he didn't think it was that big of a deal, he understood that I did and since it made me deeply uncomfortable he would tell her we would handle it. I haven't heard a word about it since.

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