Author Topic: Intuition confirmed!  (Read 6773 times)

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Offline Pen

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Re: Intuition confirmed!
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2015, 11:17:35 AM »
Hi to all! I've been out of touch for awhile. Best wishes to everyone! ArtLady, good to see your post :)

Things with my DIL/DS are not much improved but not much worse either. They and DIL's FOO continue to build wealth as DH & I are hunkering down in anticipation of retirement cost-cutting. In a healthy relationship money wouldn't be an issue, but this crowd flaunts and we cannot keep up, so we're not "fun" like DIL's FOO. I sense that DH & I are slipping away more and more...and it hurts because, as I've posted previously, we don't have any other family around (due to death, divorce, moving, marriage, etc.) I try not to be resentful...though still dealing with a bit of envy, I'm afraid  :(

It just occurred to me after reading posts in another thread that DS and DIL, like some of the couples mentioned, also married before DS finished college. DH & I were fully supporting DS at that time, and continued to help after the wedding, so our dynamic might have been affected by that, although we were very careful to treat both DS & DIL as fully grown adults.

Also, I have not lucked out in the female IL/SM department. From SILs to SM to DIL to my first MIL I seem to have drawn an unfortunate hand. Each of these women who have married/birthed the men in my life have done their utmost to keep me shut out. The men (DB, DF, DS) have kept in touch somewhat but they get tired of having to maneuver around their wives, so contact has become less and less. I don't contact often because I don't want to appear needy/clingy...to paraphrase Lorelai Gilmore, "hey, Humpty-dumpty, those are eggshells." I know, I know.

Trust me, I'm not a threat - not rich or powerful, not gorgeous, not particularly talented in any one field...just a normal, average woman who wanted a happy, healthy family. Acceptance of my situation, finding my way back to once-loved activities, and practicing gratitude all seem to help when I remember to do them  ;)

And retirement - yikes, another challenge! I'm needing a new job but just want to cruise for awhile, lol.
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: Intuition confirmed!
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2015, 10:11:24 AM »
Hang in there Pen.  Remember, no one defines your worth but you! ((Big Hugs!!!))
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline PatiencePlease

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Re: Intuition confirmed!
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2015, 05:51:25 AM »
This thread is filled with inspiration.  Glad I had a minute to check in.  Thinking of you all.  :) 

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Intuition confirmed!
« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2015, 07:07:53 AM »
Hi, P! :D
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

Offline Pen

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Re: Intuition confirmed!
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2015, 03:09:54 PM »
Wow, time flies when you are in the wilderness away from wi-fi, lol. DH, DDD & I spent a few weeks on vacation. It was great to have a change of scenery and not be hemmed in by school schedules - freedom! I'm glad to be back with my WWU friends.

Back to reality - got the word from DS regarding sharing/trading holidays, access to potential GC, etc. Not looking good for us :(  I know I should not show my emotions but I was caught unexpectedly after a very rough, emotional few days w/DDD and I let a couple of tears fall in front of him. DIL & her Ps were present but I hope they didn't see...humiliating :(

A wise friend has suggested I say the following when I get a chance to speak w/DS again:

"DS, I'm glad you get to spend time over the holidays w/DIL's FOO in their home country. How exciting! I want you to know that I understand how hard it is to balance everything. We're so proud of you and love you so much. We just want to be part of your life and your future children's lives."

She thinks that letting him know our needs w/o pressuring him or making him feel guilty will be noticed & appreciated. DIL & her FOO are putting enough pressure on him & when he comes to see that we are not the source of his discomfort he'll put his foot down with DIL/her FOO.

Hope she's right, 'cos my heart was broken there for awhile :(
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline Stilllearning

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Re: Intuition confirmed!
« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2015, 06:28:02 PM »
I too was all involved in the "Why do you spend your holidays with them instead of us?" scenario.  Then one day a light bulb went off and I started asking "Why are holidays hardwired to certain days?".  The first time I moved a holiday was a Thanksgiving a few years ago.  We knew it was going to be the last good day for a while because a front was going to settle in and bring rain for days.  My DH said he wanted to spend that Thursday in a canoe visiting an island instead of me spending the day in the kitchen cooking turkey and all the trimmings.  It was the happiest Thanksgiving day I have spent in years!!  We only had sandwiches for lunch but we spent the day being wonderfully Thankful for the incredible weather and the chance to spend the day in such a rewarding way.  I spent the next Saturday while it was raining preparing our turkey day feast and we even had my DS and DIL over to enjoy it.  Not on Thanksgiving Day but we enjoyed it every bit as much (actually we enjoyed it more because we enjoyed the island trip also).  So now my holidays are more at my disposal than at the calendar's command.  With this in mind, my question to my DS at this point is not "Are you coming to my house for Christmas?" it is "When can you celebrate Christmas at our house?".  Win Win.....I love those!!

Hugs!!
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
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Offline Pen

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Re: Intuition confirmed!
« Reply #21 on: September 15, 2015, 09:20:24 PM »
Hi, Still!  ;D

I have no problem with non-"traditional" holidays, and your canoe trip sounds wonderful! DH & I would probably go biking or kayaking or even skiing, but our DD is disabled and isn't able to participate - we have to limit our activities to things she's willing/able to do.

DDD has to come to us on the days of the traditional holidays because the staff at her facility is off. She expects the holiday to be on the actual day...no wiggle room there. So, if I also do another holiday with DS/DIL, I'm doing 2X the work :(  It's our problem, not DS/DIL's, I realize. However, it hurts to always have to be the ones that lose out one way or the other. Working on that, thanks to WWU, but not over it completely (yet.)

It's a challenge - we have to juggle DD's limits, everyone's food allergies and our finances, but we will come up with something (I hope!) Time to brainstorm and get very creative.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline Monroe

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Re: Intuition confirmed!
« Reply #22 on: September 16, 2015, 09:05:52 AM »
So I have a little different twist on the holidays.   We have the aloof DIL who wants as little to do with us as possible.  Son seems happy - so it is all none of my business.  Yes, her family comes first.   We are used to that.   

We also have a daughter who is warm, friendly, has never met a stranger.   She has a heart as big as all outdoors, and is engaged to a fine young man.  He is warm and friendly - and genuinely likes us.  Either that or he deserves the next Academy Award for Best Actor.   So all is well there. 

Last year we drove to her city for Thanksgiving.   A long drive, but doable.  And Thanksgiving is such an expensive time for her to fly.   We had such a good time, DH and I agreed to do it again this year.   That was the plan - - for months.    Until last week - when I was informed that the fiancé's parents had decided to take their whole family (and our daughter) to the Caribbean for Thanksgiving - and so she won't be in town if we come visit then.   

Now the fiancé's family is just fine.   They are nothing like what Pooh or Pen have to deal with.   We have not met them yet - but by all accounts they are warm, kind, good people.   They like our daughter, and she likes them.   I am pleased about that.  I would not wish this fiancé's mother to deal with an aloof DIL such as we have.  Nor would I want our daughter to have to deal with a nasty MIL.   

Our daughter wants to be part of their family.  And being part of THEIR family and being part of OUR family are NOT mutually exclusive.   She can do both - and we will all be the better for it.  I imagine I will become friends with the other mother when we meet.  And how much healthier it is if the son is not in the middle of two women who have conflict.   

This is the ideal situation for all concerned.   I know that.  And I would not want my daughter to forego a lovely trip to the Caribbean - so DH and I have cancelled our trip to her town.  Instead we will take a long road trip (we already have the vacation time blocked off from work - have had for months) - to another part of the country we have never seen.  So we are making lemonade out of this lemon. 

This is the correct solution.  I don't want her to miss this lovely trip with her future family.   But . . . . there's just a little piece of me that feels like the kid with her nose pressed against the glass.  Comments, anyone??? 


Offline Stilllearning

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Re: Intuition confirmed!
« Reply #23 on: September 16, 2015, 04:11:58 PM »
There is only one way to cure that nose against the window feeling.....plan more for your road trip.  Spend time looking for sights to see on your trip.  Plan on stopping at parks, going to museums, visiting aquariums, taking historic tours.  Make it a plan to hike a new trail, visit an antique mall, take a line dancing class, try zip lining, ride a train, take in a concert.  You have time to get in touch with the councils of the small cities you might go through and see if they recommend any special attractions.  I went to a little hole in the wall blue grass concert in a really small city a couple of years ago.  What talent and only about 50 people there!   Planning a trip like that can be fun and it can bring you and your DH closer together.  Maybe a romantic evening is in order? 

All this boils down to one thing....
What you focus on expands!! 


Spend your time thinking about the wonderful time you will be having. 

Have a great time!!  Hugs!
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
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Offline Green Thumb

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Re: Intuition confirmed!
« Reply #24 on: September 16, 2015, 05:36:18 PM »
Pen, I just saw your post from 6 days ago. I think your friend has good advice to praise your son but I feel coming out and saying when do we get to see you is maybe a bit intrusive. I might suggest softening the "demand" into an "ask" instead. And a gentle ask, like we'd love to come visit you OR we'd love for you to come visit -- when might be a good time for you all?

We are in the situation of just doing our own thing mostly.  I have stopped caring so much about holidays, except for the religious meaning to me. But I think if my children ever have kids, I am going to be sad not to be "grandma" but rather the "other grandma" or the less than grandma. As many of you write about. I just have a lot of pride that doesn't want/allow me to beg my adult kids to see their babies (the two semi estranged AC are just not nice and are very self centered). Well, will cross that river when we get to it.

Offline Pen

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Re: Intuition confirmed!
« Reply #25 on: September 20, 2015, 10:22:04 AM »
GT, my friend did NOT suggest saying "when do we get to see you?" I agree, that would be intrusive!! She didn't suggest even asking for time. Instead she suggested just stating "We love you and want to be a part of your life and have you be a part of our lives." No requests, no pressure, no guilt. He can do with it what he will.
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: Intuition confirmed!
« Reply #26 on: September 21, 2015, 06:15:22 AM »
I like what your friend had to say.  For us, we actually don't even plan any more around our AC's for holidays.  We plan them with our Mother's, extended family and ourselves and then "let" the AC know what is happening when and where.  Totally up to them if they want to join in or not.  Then we tell them that we will be at home on so and so days, if they decide they want to drop by and to let us know.  That's the end of it.  We make plans for ourselves now, not them.  Would it still be nice to see them?  Well sure, but I think I made the statement awhile back, "I took back the holidays for myself!"   I love the holidays and guess what?  I'm not letting them ruin it for us.  They can add to it...but can't take away from it!
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline Pen

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Re: Intuition confirmed!
« Reply #27 on: September 25, 2015, 08:27:04 PM »
Pooh, you are so right!

The hard thing for DH & I is that we have no parents (both our DMs plus DH's dad have passed; my dad lives on the other side of the continent w/his wife near her AC.) We have no sibs or other extended family nearby (we stayed put, they all moved!)

Oh, holidays...how I love and dread you!
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline Bamboo2

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Re: Intuition confirmed!
« Reply #28 on: October 02, 2015, 12:37:42 PM »
Hi Pen, this thread has been going on a really long time  :).
What a boatload of disappointment for you as you consider the holidays.  We have missed out on holidays with our DD as well, so she could be with BFs large FOO.  We started a new tradition to take away some of that pain.  We always go out of state to my family or DHs family, and two days after Christmas we go to a lovely city two hours north that DH and I both like, as well as our DS....sometimes.  (He's 17 and it could go either way :-\ ) That way we have our own special time away to look forward to.  I know your DDD is with you; maybe she would like such an adventure as well.  My thinking is that by shaking things up a bit for yourself around the holidays, you may not feel the loss as much. I have a friend whose DS spends the majority of every holiday with DILs controlling FOO. The little time carved out for my friend at holiday time was miserable because DIL would ignore the whole family and was consumed with writing holiday cards or other stress that she would pass on to everyone else. My friend finally decided to change up the holiday and offer a family celebration in October, knowing she would have the actual holidays with other snowbird friends in her retirement community.  Not perfect, but better than the former approach.  Wishing you the best, Pen  :)

Offline Pen

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Re: Intuition confirmed!
« Reply #29 on: October 11, 2015, 05:54:04 PM »
Thanks, everyone! I love the friendship and support here. I know my issues have been going on a very long time, but you all are still hangin' in with me :) I am so very grateful.

DDD is the wild card in holiday planning...she might be amenable to a trip, and then again she might be miserable. We never know (this last vacation was awful at the end.)

I think I'll compile a list of local things to do. Honestly, right now I could go for a quiet, home-based holiday with time to read and putter in my art room. With special décor and treats to eat/drink, it will be jolly!





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