Author Topic: Jealousy  (Read 14703 times)

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Offline Pen

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Jealousy
« on: October 08, 2011, 03:10:41 PM »
My problems are minuscule compared to most posters here, so it's embarrassing to write this.

How do I get over feeling envious of DIL's parents? I'm OK w/o seeing DS week after week until I hear that he & DIL are visiting her FOO yet again. They all work together, call/text each other many times a day, and see DIL's FOO every weekend, all holidays, yadda yadda.

The minute I hear "we're on our way to DIL's parents" I suddenly have a physical and emotional reaction (not visibly, thank goodness!) I am able, thanks to this site and everyone's support, to go on with my day and not obsess...but it bothers me that it still bothers me.

DH & I gave DS & DIL tickets to an event held today that we couldn't attend. DS called afterwards to thank us and tell us all about it. I was glad they had a good time. We had a pleasant conversation, I felt great - until their plans for the afternoon were mentioned. Of course I didn't let on, told them to have fun and to say "hi" to the ILs for us ...but inside I felt like molten lava was creeping throughout the inside of my body from head to toe.

My goal is to overcome this on the inside as well as the outside! Not doing too well, apparently :(
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline Doe

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Re: Jealousy
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2011, 03:20:09 PM »
Pen, I'm interested in answers to this, too.   My situation is that DIL and DS moved 1000 miles away so she could be with her half - sister (my age) and her family to share her pregnancy and birth.   She just got to know them as an adult a few years ago.  I'm glad that DS has the big extended family he always seemed to want but I hate it, too.    Her family has no interest in us and DIL ordered us not to talk to them about her so there is no big happy family here.

I don't have a solution, I just admit it - I'm jealous. 

Offline lancaster lady

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Re: Jealousy
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2011, 03:46:45 PM »
Well Pen , you know.my story .My DS was spending every weekend with my DIL foo until I could stand no more . I saw my GD for 2 hours in 4 months when they lived 20 miles away . Fate turned things around , and when they needed family the most , her foo refused them a home ! My only concern is now they are moving 10 minutes away from her foo , the family that refused her ! I feel that once again I will be the forgotten gp ! If that happens I will not sit quietly in a corner and behave , I will shout my injustice from the rooftops ! I dont want to think about Christmas as I know where they will be .......unfair I'll say . I'll be more angry than jealous . So yes I know how you feel , answer ? I've no idea ! We cant make them visit . Join me on the rooftops , we could make banners.....  lol

Offline Barbie

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Re: Jealousy
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2011, 04:53:32 PM »
Pen,

This has always been my biggest complaint since DS met DIL. I have to say that I really commend you for not saying anything to DS, but like LL, I couldn’t keep my mouth shut and one thing led to another and here we are. They blame me for the way things are now but I believe things would have been the same no matter what (as in your case) and so I chose to tell them how I felt. I don’t think we can win no matter how we choose to handle the situation, it’s up to our DS’s to want to spend more time with us. DIL FOO’s life hasn’t changed much, but our lives have changed forever. I’m sorry to say that things probably won’t improve much after the GC are born. To me the solution is to learn to live without them, concentrate on other aspects of you life.     “Simple but not easy”.

Offline Ruth

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Re: Jealousy
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2011, 06:34:55 PM »
Oh, dear Pen, that stings, I know it does.  I've thought about your question a little while here, and first of all I still think that the honesty is cathartic and it is the first essential step to ridding ourselves of any flaw, and Lord knows I've got enough of them for the whole site here.  I often refer back to my own mother when I'm looking for clarity as she has lived such a simple life seemingly free from most of these devils I've wrestled with.  I can't imagine anything like your question being a part of her experience.  There were five of us, and married all over the place.  My mother was never consistently the center of anything, but she never expected it to be so.  She doesn't think of herself at all, but she is very happy in her life.  She was always just happy for us to be happy.  Maybe as mothers, Pen, we think we've turned loose, but we really haven't.  I don't know, but it still seems to me when I read our posts, that our a/c are still our little ones and we expect and long to be an integral part of their lives, and most of us seem to have an undisclosed but concrete bar that we must meet in relationship with them for us to be content and well balanced.  Look at how euphoric all of us become when we get even a crumb from an errant a/c!  We are still too tied to our adult children.  The only clue I know is that it seems in any dynamic of relationship, the least needy gets the most.  A more complete life apart from parenting.  Your DDD is a beautiful pool for your labor.  If you were to grow more in love with this part of your life, ds may fade more in the background and dil may in time regroup.  This has the possibility to become a sort of 'mission' for your life, that could expand in many directions.  I don't think your pain is any less important than the rest of ours, precious Pen, pain is pain and it shouldn't be judged.  with love to you.

amflautist

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Re: Jealousy
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2011, 09:49:28 PM »
My situation is so nearly the same as yours.  We haven't had a Christmas or Thanksgiving visit from DS and DIL in 3 yrs - or is it 4?  Although it was supposed to alternate, every year a different excuse.  This year they will spend 4 days at Thanksgiving at her FOO, then fly off to another continent for Christmas.  The Christmas that is supposed to be ours.  We will get 1 day - the sunday before thanksgiving.  Phone calls?  Only when DS is at an airport on business, DIL not around.  Or when she is out of town. 

I used to be so jealous of her FOO also.  They got all the usual holidays plus all the vacation weeks, etc.  But as I poke myself in different places right now, I find that there is not a lot of tenderness, not a lot of jealousy left.  Where did it go?  Is it going away because I have stopped caring so much?  Is it going away because whenever I compare myself with DIL's FOO, I come out ahead?  Is my new blasé attitude the result of moving to a new community?  I can't say.  It just feels different.  I seem to have changed.

Dear Pen, six months ago I too would have said, "My goal is to overcome this on the inside as well as the outside!"  Hang in there Pen.  It will happen. 

Offline Pen

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Re: Jealousy
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2011, 11:08:02 PM »
Thank you all for your comments and advice. Lots to think about here.


...But as I poke myself in different places right now, I find that there is not a lot of tenderness, not a lot of jealousy left.  Where did it go?  Is it going away because I have stopped caring so much?  Is it going away because whenever I compare myself with DIL's FOO, I come out ahead? 

Maybe that's it, AM. I don't feel as if I come out ahead in a comparison with DIL's FOO. I know DS loves us and wants to maintain our relationship, but DIL's FOO comes first now. I guess I'm not yet OK with that.

It  would be so much easier if DS & DIL were forging a life together away from either FOO. I'd still miss DS but I wouldn't feel envy or indignation. Missing DS in that circumstance would be normal, but missing DS due to DIL's FOO's enmeshment and overbearing involvement is bizarre.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2011, 08:40:15 AM by Pen »
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline Nana

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Re: Jealousy
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2011, 02:01:34 AM »
Dear Pen

As Ruth said...pain is pain ...so your pain is not less important than any other pain.   I have many times felt envious of dil's family.  We have a good relationship with dil but still sometimes I hear about my gc school event where my dil's mother attended, and I wasnt invited.  I feel a hole in my stomach.  I am included now almost all the time but once in a while I am not and it hurts me.  I feel ridiculous and ashame of myself but can't help it.  It is part of our human  nature...feeling left out is hurtful. 

Dear Pen..really it hurts me that you feel hurt....  or bothered.....we cannot change what they do which is not fair.... but have to keep trying to find our peace and balance and let life take care of the rest. 

Hold on girl... Dil's FOO is not better than you....   Never think that. 

Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove:
Shakespeare

Offline forever spring

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Re: Jealousy
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2011, 06:56:47 AM »
I'm so so sorry for your pain, Pen. You are doing such a marvellous job here on this site and I feel honoured that you shared your pain with us. I think I can understand how you feel because I'm in a similar situation. The little things are the ones that hurst most. For example MIL ordered two copies of the end of year kindergarden photograph of my eldest GK - and even though I lived near at the time, they didn't think of ordering one for us. I did ask DS for a copy but that didn't happen either. One evening when my YDS, DH and I had babysat for the children all day, my DIL's sister was called to put the elder boy to bed .... the list goes on - and it does hurt. When I lived close to them I was always made to feel that we did not enough and FOO did everything. They do help a lot to a point that the whole thing would have collapsed if they had not been there. They are always at their daughter's beck and call. They buy a lot for the GK, take them out to do fun things etc. For DH and me it's a no-win situation.
I don't feel jealous though, don't know why. I do have a good relationship with DIL's mother, we did a few grandmother things together which worked well. I'm just really sad but have come to terms with the fact that DH and I will always be GP number 2 because what we have to give is not appreciated. At least not for the moment. I'm not sure whether this resignation is a good thing but it feels better than the hurt I experienced before. The whole situation has made me appreciate other things in life a lot more - my focus has changed.
I will visit the family in six weeks' time and I'm full of apprehension as to how I will be received this time. I'm a stranger but I still feel that I have to maintain a certain presence and not cut myself off completely.
I do hope that your strong feelings will subside soon and turn into something more bearable, Pen. As Ruth said, we are just too close to our children and being with them and around them is the best thing that happens to us - we need to ask ourselves whether it cannot be replaced positively by something else.
I am happy for my DS that he has found a replacement family. He gets on really well with MIL's FOO and I say to myself that I have to be generous enough to celebrate this fact. IT'S HARD - AND LOOKS BETTER ON PAPER THAN IT FEELS IN THE HEART!

amflautist

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Re: Jealousy
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2011, 07:21:47 AM »
Maybe that's it, AM. I don't feel as if I come out ahead in a comparison with DIL's FOO.

Now how is that possible Pen?  You are one of the precious WW who hold this site together.  What would we all do without you?  Surely you are not bedazzled by all that money that is being thrown around by DIL's FOO?  I'm not.  I'm not impressed by the huge number of houses and cottages owned by DIL's FOO.  I'm not impressed that they pay for DS and DIL to go on expensive vacations with them all over the world.  I'm not impressed that DS and DIL bought too expensive a house on the strength of a down-payment loan from her FOO. 

I'm happy with myself because I am keeping my small business running.  I'm proud that I have finally taken charge of losing weight.  I'm satisfied that I can make small contributions to WWU.  And wow oh wow can I cook!  Oh ho, that dinner party was sump'in!

Let's hear it Pen.  Let's hear you sing your own praises and accomplishments!!!

Offline pam1

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Re: Jealousy
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2011, 08:15:18 AM »
Ruth is right, pain is pain. 

Pen, I know it has to be hard to see it right now, but I have no doubt that you're coming out ahead.  You're one classy lady, I admire how much strength you've shown in this situation.  No doubt others have noticed as well.
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

Offline Pen

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Re: Jealousy
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2011, 10:03:20 AM »
Thank you all, I cannot tell you how much your support strengthens me. Your stories and kind words bring tears to my eyes; may we all find strength, peace and joy in our lives. As I've said before, I'd have blown it a million times over without the wisdom of all of you WW. When I get close to saying something better left unsaid, I think of you and what you'd be advising: WWWWUD?

I can see my path more clearly now. Resenting/being envious of DIL's FOO is like trying to bushwhack through a brambly, boulder-strewn  trail rather than taking the well-groomed path in front of me. Instead of getting scratched and shredded, why not cruise along in a slightly different direction? The paths may connect ahead or not... who knows? Perhaps there will be a bench with a great view where we can sit for a spell before heading off on our chosen paths once again. How precious those times will be!

My path leads to laughter, good books, art, music, travel, peaceful vistas, health, great food & drink, and the loving arms of one amazing DH. So why would I beat myself up over the brambly route? D-uh!

If only I can remember this analogy when the green-eyed monster makes another appearance...




Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline Pooh

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Re: Jealousy
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2011, 01:03:23 PM »
I think I just said this not long ago, jealousy is normal.  I am too.  I just don't let it consume me, rule me or decide how I am going to live.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

sesamejane

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Re: Jealousy
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2011, 01:54:23 PM »
acceptance....aahh

Offline Begonia

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Re: Jealousy
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2011, 02:00:37 PM »
Hi Pen:  I so much relate to your post.  I think it's important that you are "naming it and claiming it."  Jealousy is such a real emotion. You are a strong and wonderful role model and that will live on no matter what else.

The one thing that I see as a general complaint is that our DS just fade away once they get involved with a GF or wife.  I think that is probably pretty natural that the woman controls the social interactions and the guy goes along with it. 

This problem presented itself to me many years ago.  My DS and DIL lived 6 hours away and DIL parents lived 20  miles from me--right on DS and DIL way to visit the IL.   Imagine how hurt I was the first time I knew they visited her parents and never even gave me a call!!  Not even to see the GC.  Or when she stayed with her parents for a full week or two and I never even got a call.  I still feel a dull stab when I take myself back to those days. I realized early on that no matter what I did things were not going to change so I better let go of my resentment.  VERY difficult to do when you suspect or know that GC are 20 miles away spending a holiday. 

So my son has been a wimp.  If anyone is to blame it's him, but hey! as I have said before he will preserve the peace in his family (wife and children) no matter what.  And over the years, as I have watched him struggle to keep things together with his wife (she has several medical issues) and be the rock for her and for her mother as DIL's father is in prison again for felony DUI.

One thing you said, Pen, is that you don't feel as if you come out ahead with DIL FOO.  Well, there are so many things we don't know....I would have never suspected that my DIL family is so completely bonkers...on the outside everything is perfect...candles, fine china, beautiful gourmet food, blah blah.  Then I slowly got the real picture (drunk husband; abused and passive wife, lost everything, etc.)  And that brought up a whole other set of resentments.....how in the world am I not a better role model, etc. etc.?? 

BUT, like Luise always is saying...(where is Luise??? I haven't had a chance to be on here lately)...things are as they are.  And I rarely think about all this angst anymore.  Like a wound trying to heal, I have stopped picking at it.  And that has allowed some (hmmm, a lot, really) of the resentment and anger to dissipate.  This might be just a little dip in the road and tomorrow or the next day you'll find the path again and be even stronger.  Bravo for telling it like it is.  This IS a rocky road...look how far you are on the journey. 
Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, Today is a gift (Eleanor Roosevelt)