Author Topic: At a loss of what to do  (Read 1357 times)

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Offline MammaT

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At a loss of what to do
« on: March 03, 2017, 11:40:13 AM »
hello everyone. I stumbled across this forum this morning. I have been searching for ways to help the relationship between my dil and myself. I will try to give a quick short version of my problem because we all know there is so much to a situation like this it would take me forever to write down everything.background of family is my exdh and i are divorced and remarried. Stepmom and i have had issues. I try to stay away from her because she will twist stories, lie, and always wants to " up one me with my kids". My dil through the years has been hot and cold with her relationship with the stepmom, always coming to me to get advice , talk, diss the stepmom, and for a listening ear. So i have always felt we had a good relations etc. I've been aware that dil and stepmoms relationship has been hot and cold. Then the weddingvprep came along and i was somewhat blind sighted by my dil having stepmom as her wedding coordinator. Other than payingfor stuff i wasn't asked to do anything forthe wedding. When i asked to participate i was ignored. Or toldit was taken care of. This was the start of having a difficult relationship with dil. Although hurt i kept quiet. After I've continuously try to engage dil but she is quiet doesn't talk much. Answers a question but doesn't try to have a conversation. Basically this is how my issue's with my dil started. My son and dil married almost 2 years ago.now, dil is pregnant. Barely 3 months along. I received a text from smom talking about getting things together for dil's baby shower. Again dil asked stepmom to do the shower. I dont want any part of it due to how the wedding went. I am only asked to help pay for it but am not asked to be apart of giving the shower. This has caused huge problems. And I'm not sure if i should've kept my mouth shut and just helped pay for it or if bringingthis up to ds and dil was right. Regardless i brought it up. Saying if stepmom was in charge or part of it, then i didn't want to be. Explaining what happened with the wedding. Well now I'm the huge problem. Why can't i just shut up and do what they want. Just put my feelings aside etc. I might have but then stepmom started texting me thati was being selfish and horrible etc. Sm even gotdils mom involved aNd i am sure she didnt shine me in a pretty light. So my ds and dil invited me to come over so we could clear this up and find solution. I went and found out that my dil feels i am to hard to talk to therefore thats the reason we dont have a relationship. Of course i listened and cried and because i was crying i didn't ask for specifics. I just wanted outof there as soon as possible. I hugged both of them ( my dil reciprocated with a half hug) and left. Now i dont know what to do. Any thoughts or ideas. I love my dil greatly. She makes my son a better man and he loves her so much. I have always wanted to have close relationships with my dil's. It's something I've dreamed of. And i always looked at it as gaining daughters. Since i only have 1 dd. Now things are a mess. I want desperately to fix my relationship with dil. I'm not sure how to? Thanks for reading this. MammaT
 
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Offline luise.volta

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Re: At a loss of what to do
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2017, 12:30:54 PM »
Welcome, M. We ask all new members to go to our HomePage and under Read Me First, to read the posts placed there for you. Please pay special attention to the Forum Agreement to be sure WWU is a fit. We're a monitored Website.

For instance, the quote you have chosen as your signature refers to a religious belief. We are very careful here to respect everyone including those who have no beliefs...so that our welcome is sincere. If that will work for you, please go to your Profile and choose something else. And thank you for understanding.

Your situation is different than the one I had with my elder adult son. He decided in his teens that I was the worst mother in the world. He did his best to convince his brother who was seven years younger but it didn't take. He's actually our Webmaster. So, all I can offer are some general thoughts instead of similar experiences.


My first thought is that the closeness you had with your DIL before the wedding never evidenced any inability on her part to talk with you. To the contrary! So, that just doesn't make sense to me. My guess is that the conversations you had about the SM were repeated to her by your DIL. Perhaps once SM knew how you gossiped behind her back...she may have made a strong effort to discredit you with DIL.

A guess would be that your DS staged the talk the three of you had. He may have no idea about the rest of it and find it totally confusing and fixable. I don't see how it can be. DIL and SM are thick and it sounds like SM is behind DIL treating you badly.

You will get feedback from other members that may be more useful. I see the door as closed. Please know that may not be the case. On our site we take what we want and ignore what we don't want. It's yours to do with as you wish. My heart goes out to you.

« Last Edit: March 03, 2017, 05:28:11 PM by luise.volta »
"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 Marina

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Re: At a loss of what to do
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2017, 10:10:22 PM »
Hi, M.  I can hear the confusion and upset in your post. I'm sorry your relationship with DIL has deteriorated.  Since there isn't anything you can do about the past, or to really know what's going on behind the scenes with DIL and StepM, I would try to do my best to accept the relationship with DIL as is, while remaining open for things to improve without pushing it.  I think your best bet is to present a cheerful and calm manner and not show your upset or make anyone choose sides. 

I think it's unreasonable for others to expect you and StepM to communicate and cooperate together when you don't get along, although, hopefully, you can remain civil to each other at family gatherings. 

If you will not be involved in the baby shower, perhaps you could come up with another event to make DIL feel special, like honoring her at an afternoon tea with female relatives or close friends.  Or give her a pampering gift like a shoulder/foot massage, mani/pedi (are there day spa services for moms-to-be?).

I think your end goal is to try to maintain a cordial enough relationship with DIL so that you will be able to have an ongoing relationship with DS and future GC. 

Offline Marina

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Re: At a loss of what to do
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2017, 12:54:36 PM »
M, I hope I didn't sound dismissive of your feelings in my comment.  This is my way of thinking:  If you do not show your upset as a result of any "mean girl" tactics being used against you, you will not be supplying anyone a payoff by showing how the tactics are hurting you.  In this way, you can maintain your self-respect while continuing to assess the ongoing situation from a nonreactive position, with the hope you can forge a new relationship that is pleasant (albeit not as close as you would wish) with DIL/DS.  I hope that makes sense.   

Offline Stilllearning

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Re: At a loss of what to do
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2017, 12:07:28 PM »
Hang in there!  Being a new parent changes so many things in your life that it is often accompanied by major maturity spurts.  Goodness only knows how much their lives will change.  I would think that just telling my DS and DIL that I did not want to plan a party with my DH's ex would be enough!  Anyway, maybe stepping back and watching the action from afar is the best thing to do.  If the stepmom is anything like what you describe, the new parents will have an issue with her soon enough and you do not want to catch the blame for that!!   Just take a deep breath and remember "Time wounds all heels"!
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
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Offline MammaT

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Re: At a loss of what to do
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2017, 10:43:42 PM »
#changed my sig line.thank you#
 :-X Thank you all very much. I too thought it would be ok if itold ds and dil that i didn't want to do the baby shower with smom and since dil ask smom to give the shower , that is fine and i would just not be involved. My choice. I told them no hard feelings and i am not upset. Of course inside it hurts like heck that dil prefers smom over me but there isnt anything i can do about that etc but i wouldn't tell them this or act indi#ernet because of smom hosting shower and me choosing not to do it with her. However, the would not takethis answer. Insisting i must help with the shower. Saying things like, don't be that way, we know you dont like smom but please do this for us, my ds saying mom please do this and i will never ask you to do anything else with her in the future, also telling me how ds wants all us moms to do this together. However, i know dil went to smom and told her all things they said to me. I know because smom then texts me saying how i am causing such a problem and should understand and be totally ok with things since dil asked smom to host the baby shower and because i wasn't willing to work with smom , i was causing my dil and ds way to much stress that they don't need. That i was being childish and making this all about me. Which is ridiculous because i toldthem it was fine with me that smom is hosting the shower but due to past situations with smom i wasn't going to cohost shower with smom and i would happily attend. I even suggested a couples dinner "shower introducing the baby for family" after baby is born around a month or 2 months old. Dil very snarkly said i onlyvwantone shower. There will not be 2. And if your going to be involved that it will be with smom. Why does anyone care if i do it or not. If as i told them, i will not be upset at all andwould happily attend? Why do they want to insist i do this with smom. I just dont get it. And because dil said she finds it hard to talk to me for her reason our relationship is zero. My ds says mom just keep tryingwith her text her and invite herctodo things etc. My thoughts are mixed on this and i dont understand why i should keep trying for a relationship with dil when she has pretty much made it clear to me she doesnt want a relationship with me. She wont say why except she finds itvhardto talk to me. Note: before their wedding dil always cameto me to talk etc. There is some other reason and i am trying to think how to drag it out of her.
"Forget what hurt you, but never forget what it taught you" unknown

Offline luise.volta

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Re: At a loss of what to do
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2017, 10:56:01 PM »
Oh, wow, what a situation. It seems to me that why your DIL dislikes you is of no consequence. She is being rude to the extreme. You son loves her and thinks you can soften her up. That's not your job and she doesn't sound remotely interested. I think I would take a trip, not even attend, and let the shower story go...but that's just me. You are a person...you get to do what works for you and co-hosting an event with someone who is not your friend is not a working premise from my point of view. I don't go where I am disliked...I don't interact with people who are unkind. I have a right to say no...so I pass those thoughts on to you.

P.S. I really like the saying you chose as your signature.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2017, 10:59:33 PM by luise.volta »
"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 Stilllearning

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Re: At a loss of what to do
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2017, 05:19:06 AM »
I have to agree with Luise.  Accept that you cannot fix this because you did not break it.  This is on the doorstep of someone else and there is should stay.  There is no way that I would volunteer to be a co host with someone that I did not like and no one should be asked to except maybe for the wedding.  You did your time in the barrel and you do not need to go back!  A trip sounds wonderful!  You can use the money your DIL would have squandered on her shower.  I would send her a nice present but I would not attend.  I attended my DIL's wedding shower and wedding but when the baby shower came along I sent my regrets and when my DS asked me about it I just told him that I would not feel comfortable going.  I still get this horrible feeling when I remember what that wedding shower felt like and how I just wanted to cry the entire time.  Nope!  Life is way too short to spend time feeling like that if you can avoid it.

Once I put my foot down things got better.  It is almost like my DIL wanted to see how far she could push me and now that she knows that I will not be her doormat things have improved.  When the children came along and her parents were only willing to watch them some (and not all) of the time and I became useful to her again things really calmed down.  Now I get to keep my GC one day a week and I love it!  So like I said....Hang in there!  The end is a loooooooooong way away!

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

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Re: At a loss of what to do
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2017, 10:47:42 AM »
M, my take is that this is a big power play by your DIL.  She is pushing hard to get her way because DIL knows you have wanted to have a close relationship.  I'm sure StepM is enjoying it, too, as she is in favor at this time.  Ignore any nasty texts from StepM and not engage her at all.  These are bullying tactics and I would have no part in it.  Once they see you are not playing, I hope the situation calms down, and improves with time. 

You said:  "Note: before their wedding dil always came to me to talk etc. There is some other reason and i am trying to think how to drag it out of her."  This would require both parties to behave in a mature manner and be motivated to work things out--I don't see that here, and I wouldn't bother wracking my brain over it.   

Offline MammaT

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Re: At a loss of what to do
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2017, 01:42:44 PM »
Thank you everyone for your advice. I feel so much better knowing that it's not me being werid in how i feel about not wanting to be involved with the shower etc. It feels good to her my feelings aren't way out there .ya know? I appreciate all the advice and kind words. I think a trip will be on my agenda when its time for the shower. Do you think i should tryine last time to talk to daughter inlaw about why she finds it hard to talk to me? To hopefully get her to tell me the truth? Or should ijust leave it alone, until they contact me about the shower they think i am helping smom with?
"Forget what hurt you, but never forget what it taught you" unknown

Offline Stilllearning

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Re: At a loss of what to do
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2017, 02:11:50 PM »
She may not even know why she feels that way.  Stop trying to fix it or figure it out just go out there and enjoy your life.  The things you focus on expand so stop focusing on your problems and start focusing on good things in life!  Enjoy your trip!!
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
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Offline luise.volta

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Re: At a loss of what to do
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2017, 02:21:07 PM »
Nope...you've done 'one last time' several times. She know where to find you!
"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 Monroe

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Re: At a loss of what to do
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2017, 08:25:46 PM »
Mamma T - you said "i dont understand why i should keep trying for a relationship with dil when she has pretty much made it clear to me she doesnt want a relationship with me."

I couldn't agree more.  I have a DIL who has made it clear she wants nothing to do with me - and I long ago lost interest in catering to her.   I know Marina meant well when she said maybe you could give her a pampering gift or host another event to make her feel special - and I'm thinking --- Why in the world should you keep catering to this young woman who has been so rude to you?   

I think her behavior is such that you are entitled to pivot 90 degrees and exit stage left.  I long ago quit making an effort towards my DIL - and no, it hasn't improved our relationship (which is nonexistent) - but it sure has helped my self esteem.  I don't feel like a doormat anymore.   I was driving myself crazy - trying and trying and getting nowhere (and I'm actually a pretty nice person).   When  I accepted it and moved on, I was emotionally healthier. 

And even if she were a lovely young woman who treated you well, the etiquette books do say that it is not appropriate to host a shower for a relative.   Too much of a gift grab.   So not only do you not HAVE to host the shower, you SHOULD NOT host the shower.   Nor should the step-mom.   Showers should only be hosted by non-relatives.   So there, Emily Post!   ;  )

Offline gettingoldandcranky

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Re: At a loss of what to do
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2017, 07:06:45 AM »
first of all, i would tell dil that you "love her greatly", as you said in your first post. it would be there, that's how you feel, and her choice to deal with it.  your son should hear it too.   i have lived thru years of dil problems.  i find when i don't participate when i am invited to, it is pointed out over and over - "you were invited, and you didn't come".  it is SO very hard to be there when i am uncomfortable - her mom is THE mom.  i am the outsider.  she is a member of their family.  we are not.  but, when the baby comes, the mission is to have a relationship with your grandchild.  anything you can get and whenever you can get it.  my husband and our extended family take whatever time we can get from my ds and dil.  it's the only way we are a part of my grandkids life.  sometimes dil is not bad - even loving.  other days, you can't cut the tension with a knife - then we cut the visit short.  unfortunately, the grandkids are picking up on her feelings and there have been times when they ask when they can leave a visit with us and go see other grandmom.  hurts. but where we are now, we put up with some things to love the grandkids. and my son can never say we didn't try

Offline luise.volta

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Re: At a loss of what to do
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2017, 08:40:22 AM »
I learned, much too late to change the the perceptions of my grandsons, that to stay connected at all cost, taught them that abuse was OK. The were/are bright and observant and they learned their lessons well. I matter, my life matters, my feelings matter. Respect matters, loyalty matters. Contempt is a learned concept.
One grandson, decided to take a closer look after he was grown. We're great friends even though he lives in another country. He's famous and I've gotta' say I'm pretty proud. He came to see me at Christmas time with his grown daughter and we had a marvelous time. We never know...life is full of surprises. Hugs...
"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