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It's not ME.

Started by Scoop, October 27, 2010, 11:44:13 am

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Scoop

First off, have you noticed there's no place to vent about parents / PIL's?  Or DH's for that matter! 

I've really been trying to get along better with my MIL.  I accept responsibility for 50% of the problems in our relationship, and so I've been working on making that "50%" better.  I'm almost 100% sure that the IL's blame all of the problems in our relationship on ME.  I truly haven't seen any effort on their part at making things better between us.

Historically, they don't call our house often and if they do, I let DH answer it.   On Monday night, they called and I answered.  I put them on speaker phone so we could ALL talk to them (I know they're not calling to speak to ME).  Well, it took EVERYTHING to get DH to speak with his parents.  I had to poke him to keep the conversation going.  And I'm not talking half an hour here - maybe 10 minutes TOPS.

What am I supposed to do if it seems like DH doesn't WANT a relationship with his parents?  And why am *I* getting the blame for it?

Sigh.  I agree, you can't win.

cremebrulee

I would say, Talk with him about it...ask him how he feels?  And reassure him that you are encouraging him to have a relationship with his parents, and don't wish to be blamed for him not having one....

would that work?


luise.volta

There is always a place here to talk about anything you want to talk about. If there isn't a category, use Grab Bag!  ;)

I have been in situations where it has felt like I was giving 100% and the other person was giving 1%. Not fun!  :(
And if I am totally honest, I have also probably contributed to the reverse. 
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

elsieshaye

I agree that you may want to just talk to him frankly about it.  I know that, when I was having issues with my parents and trying to minimize contact, I was not very receptive to my then-husband pushing me into contact, because it felt really invalidating.  It made me even less willing to deal with them, and made me resentful of him. 

I really do understand not wanting to be blamed for something you aren't actually responsible for - his relationship with his parents - but you really don't have any control over what his P's think about the situation.  If they are anything like mine, even if your H swore an oath in blood that it was all his issue and responsibility that kept him from wanting a relationship with them, they would rather believe that he is lying and is being brainwashed by you, than face the very painful idea that their own son does not want contact with them.  It's easier and less painful to blame you, so blaming you will more than likely win out every time. 

He may or may not be able to man up and tell them frankly that he wants less/different contact with them, and may not be able to tell them exactly what the problem is, and even if he did it more than likely wouldn't take any of the actual "blame" away from you in their minds, just because.  If there's any way that you can detach yourself from feeling bad because they're blaming you, and ignore it, it may take a lot of the emotion out of the whole thing for you.
This too shall pass.  All is well.

barelythere

Quote from: elsieshaye on October 27, 2010, 01:40:47 pm
I agree that you may want to just talk to him frankly about it.  I know that, when I was having issues with my parents and trying to minimize contact, I was not very receptive to my then-husband pushing me into contact, because it felt really invalidating.  It made me even less willing to deal with them, and made me resentful of him. 

I really do understand not wanting to be blamed for something you aren't actually responsible for - his relationship with his parents - but you really don't have any control over what his P's think about the situation.  If they are anything like mine, even if your H swore an oath in blood that it was all his issue and responsibility that kept him from wanting a relationship with them, they would rather believe that he is lying and is being brainwashed by you, than face the very painful idea that their own son does not want contact with them.  It's easier and less painful to blame you, so blaming you will more than likely win out every time. 

He may or may not be able to man up and tell them frankly that he wants less/different contact with them, and may not be able to tell them exactly what the problem is, and even if he did it more than likely wouldn't take any of the actual "blame" away from you in their minds, just because.  If there's any way that you can detach yourself from feeling bad because they're blaming you, and ignore it, it may take a lot of the emotion out of the whole thing for you.


I understand what you're saying but please note that it is painful to watch the son you raised change at the alter in an instant.  In the past, you were great parents and now, you're not.  It's hard for both of us. 

Barbie

Scoop,
First of all don't be so sure that they don't want to talk to you, you'd be surprised. I'd love it if DIL would call to talk to me once in a while.

Second, just because your DH doesn't care to have a relationship with them doesn't mean you can't. My DH has a brother that he never really got along with and I'm closer to him than DH is, I always say he's the brother I never had.

I'm very happy to hear that you're trying to get along better with you MIL. This forum is doing wonders for all of us. Thanks Louise.

luise.volta

Thanks! As I've said before you ladies make this site what it is. I could have opened "shop" and never have seen a member show up. You are my vision...all of you...of an active, supportive, loving community. Can you believe that we are over 1,000 strong? And a lot of women don't post...but they send me Personal Messages regarding the difference you have made in their lives. It's amazing! Many, many thanks right back atcha!  :-*
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

barelythere

Quote from: luise.volta on October 27, 2010, 05:05:34 pm
Thanks! As I've said before you ladies make this site what it is. I could have opened "shop" and never have seen a member show up. You are my vision...all of you...of an active, supportive, loving community. Can you believe that we are over 1,000 strong? And a lot of women don't post...but they send me Personal Messages regarding the difference you have made in their lives. It's amazing! Many, many thanks right back atcha!  :-*


Thank you, Luise.  I can't imagine how you even thought of such a needed site.  Loving thoughts sent.  :)

luise.volta

The acute need for this site became apparent to me on my counseling Website at www.MomResponds.com The most commonly asked question there over the last 5 1/2 years is, "Why Do My Son And DIL Hate Me?"  A question and answer site doesn't lend itself well to dialogue and I felt the strong need for that. And the rest, as they say, is history. I have won awards for both sites. One from the Foss Foundation and one from the Bank of America.  :)
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

cremebrulee

Luise, I'm so appreciative for this site, for Kirk, you and all the time you give us...
I was so shocked to read, that many woman have written you personally saying this site has helped them....what wonderful postive news...thank you for sharing....it's so great to have wWU, and to know that so many members thrive from it...yes, a dream come true, not just for you, but for all of us....

thank you for everything....

Creme

Pooh

This site is wonderful and congratulations on the awards Luise!  That's awesome and so deserving!
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

justus

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

I am in sort of the same position only I don't know what my MIL says about me and I don't care. It probably isn't good as she talks nasty about everyone else, so I doubt she treats me any better. I decided long ago to follow DH's lead when it came to his family. Whatever he wants, I back him up. If we lived closer (we live across the country) it might be different because I really like a couple of my SILs and I would want a relationship with them all on my own, but I trust MIL and SIL#2 about as far as I can throw them and would keep them at arms length. As it stands, DH has some pretty serious issues with his mother and I am not comfortable having any sort of a relationship with her until it is resolved because she will attempt to triangulate. Their problems are for them to work out and I do not want to get in the middle of it even though it is tempting to tell her exactly what I think. It is just safer for me to stand back and let DH drive the relationship.

The thing I learned early on in our relationship was that I had to stop reacting for DH. Something would come up and I would react, I would get emotional and do something about it or pressure him to do something. What this did was take the pressure off of DH to do something, to really think about what was best. and his emotional reactions were stunted because he was so busy dealing with my reaction. He didn't have to feel anything because I was doing enough feeling for the both of us. When I stopped reacting and started listening, DH had to deal with situation and his feelings instead of dealing with me. He grew up a lot. In this situation with his Mom, on one hand he would love it if I stepped in and said something so he wouldn't have to, but on the other hand he would resent me for it. It is better for both of us if I keep my emotions and reactions to myself unless he asks. This is HIS mother and this is HIS relationship with her, I have no business messing with that. And you have not business messing with your H's relationship with his parents. If you want to improve your relationship with them, then concentrate on that, and let your H do what he will.

Really, the only thing you can do is to be always pleasant and polite, don't take things personally, but don't take any abuse and let your DH drive the relationship. It doesn't matter what they think as long as you know you are doing the right thing.

It is really easy for the PILs to blame the DIL because she is the new thing in their lives so she must be the cause of the change. It never occurs to them that their DS might be changing by choice as he becomes a husband. People do change when they become married.

Pen

Wow, Justus, great post! When we put the problems back where they belong we stop enabling those who've been relying on us to deal with the stuff they want to avoid. It's liberating for us, too. Thanks for the insight! Best wishes on a successful outcome for you.

I agree that marriage can change people, and that the new DIL can be seen as the reason for DS's lack of interest in his FOO. I went through that a bit with my first marriage; my MIL blamed me for changing my then-DH's religious and political beliefs. Such power I had, LOL! She didn't want to acknowledge that her baby boy had a mind of his own and had chosen his own belief system long before I arrived on the scene.

Then there's the dynamic of the DIL/SIL who does want to change their spouse and cut them from the herd. That's what my family is dealing with now, although DS has spoken up (actually had to speak up to DIL go toe-to-toe with his FIL) and things are improving a bit.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Scoop

Quote from: Barbie on October 27, 2010, 04:35:44 pm
Scoop,
First of all don't be so sure that they don't want to talk to you, you'd be surprised. I'd love it if DIL would call to talk to me once in a while.

Second, just because your DH doesn't care to have a relationship with them doesn't mean you can't. My DH has a brother that he never really got along with and I'm closer to him than DH is, I always say he's the brother I never had.

I'm very happy to hear that you're trying to get along better with you MIL. This forum is doing wonders for all of us. Thanks Louise.


Barbie, I don't actually like my MIL, I would never be friends with her, we're just TOO different.  Also, I know that MIL would like to talk to me, about herself, FIL, DH and DD - but she has never paid an ounce of attention to anything about me.  I know it's hard for the good MIL's here to understand, but she's not that kind of MIL.

miss_priss

Wow - such great points have been made.  But Elsieshaye REALLY hit the nail on the head regarding your situation. 

QuoteI really do understand not wanting to be blamed for something you aren't actually responsible for - his relationship with his parents - but you really don't have any control over what his P's think about the situation.  If they are anything like mine, even if your H swore an oath in blood that it was all his issue and responsibility that kept him from wanting a relationship with them, they would rather believe that he is lying and is being brainwashed by you, than face the very painful idea that their own son does not want contact with them.  It's easier and less painful to blame you, so blaming you will more than likely win out every time.

 
I can't say that your situation is unique, Scoop.  You've been here long enough to know that.   ;)  There are lots of us who are instantly blamed by MIL for their DS's "sudden change."  I think its just easier to blame the outsider, someone you don't really know or care about.  We've all done it at some point in our lives, we "side" with those we know and care about...it's always the outsider's fault. 

But some of us learn in adulthood, when we become the "outsider" (DIL), that it's not always our fault.  That's not to say we're 100% innocent...Lord Knows I'm not.  I reacted to my MIL's blame badly and thus only fueled her.  If I had it to all over again.....