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The Dragons Keep

Started by 2tired2fight, March 02, 2011, 04:03:48 pm

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holliberri

That's probably true, Tara. Both DH and I have had to adjust to our changing expectations...I guess it's growing pains.

I don't know what I like to be called, LOL. I never thought about it. You can call me whatever you like, (just don't call me late for dinner? Is that how that saying goes?).

cd1029

You are tired of doing what you have done.  So stop.

I like the idea of explaining to your husband that you are simply tired and are going to back away for now.

It can be exhausting to do what you don't want to do and no one appreciates it or knows you are doing it ... so why do it.

justus

I agree you should just drop the rope here. Make a calendar for him with birthdays, anniversaries, and other pertinent days written on it, then give it to him and tell him it is the only reminder he is going to get from you this year, and  he better man up and take the blame if he forgets and not let anyone blame you. Then bite your tongue bloody all year. Don't even ask if he has done anything, because that is like volunteering to save his behind. If he asks for help, give him a few suggestions, and go WITH him to purchase gifts if he wants you to go, but don't do any of it for him. Suggest he get a gift bag because you are not going to wrap anything for him.

You are not going to be able to change your IL's opinions of you, so don't worry about. Let them think what they will. You have gone above and beyond for them for a long time, now let them see what it would have been like if you had done nothing. You also cannot get them to be more involved than they are. They are who they are and you cannot change that. You might be pleasantly surprised, but I doubt it.

From the beginning of our M, I started doing it all, but then it occurred to me that DH never did anything for my family and he actually knew them. (His family lived on the other side of the country and I had only met them once) I didn't even know his family, so why should I struggle to get them gifts when they barely acknowledged my existence? I didn't even know when their special dates were. So, I dropped the rope and he picked it up occasionally. Truth be told, neither of us are very good at keeping in touch with people. We have to write on our calendar to remind us to call our kids and SD makes us a calendar every year with all the special dates on it.

I think your difficulty here is that you expect to feel guilty for not doing your job. It isn't your job, it is just something you thought you were expected to do, but it was you who expected yourself to do it. Now, everyone expects it of you. Let yourself off of the hook. let go of the control. If you can let go of that, you will be able to let go of the guilt.

Pen

They might want to do it but don't know how or feel uncomfortable. If it's awkward it's easy to put it off until the moment has long passed. My DH won't shop for me in Victoria's Secret for the same reason - he might want me to wear the lingerie, but his discomfort keeps him from following through. He also hates to try new vacation spots or restaurants.

Perhaps as wives/moms we need to encourage our DHs so our DSs will have good role models regarding the calendar stuff. Pooh has a great training method for her DH  ;)

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

lancaster lady

I think a lot depend on the man's occupation !
If he has a stressful job which requires a lot of brainpower ,I'm sure the last thing on his mind would be birthdays , presents etc .
The other angle is that he simply doesn't care about his FOO enough to send cards .
some men aren't a bit sentimental at all ,and think it's all a waste of money ,doesn't mean he doesn't care or love his family .
The thing is if you've had enough ..stop !!
does he remember your birthday ,anniversary etc ?
If he can't be bothered with his FOO ,and they never acknowledge you ,why bother ?

2tired2fight

Thanks everyone for the replies.  I have read everyones replies and I love the different points of view.

I will say that this is more of a DH thing than an inlaw thing.  I am going to admit to my first mistake on this.  Yes, I wanted DH to have a relationship with his parents, I just don't want anything to do with it.  They are both adults and should be able to handle this much.  My DH is also traveling a lot for work and I have a lot going on with my own work and kids, and their social activities.  So I calmly sat DH down and told him I was overwhelmed and gave him a list of stuff I thought he could handle while traveling.  Some bills, some contractor stuff for our house that can be handled by phone or online and he needed to take care of his parents b-days, presents, etc... He was fine, till I got to the last part.  :-\  My DH has no problem remember our anniversary, my or a our kid's B-days, etc... Once He realized I was serious, he had a complete fit, accusing me of not wanting him to see his parents, blah, blah, blah, just because I longer want to be responsible for their relationship. 

The main reason I nag him about inviting his parents to the kid's B-day parties is this, my inlaws make a huge deal out DD1 B-day, showing up with bells and whistles.  Not so much my other two kids.  In fact, if we don't call and remind them, they completely forget about their birthdays.  They play favorites horribly with my kids and yes, my kids notices and it really does hurt them.  No amount of talking this over with the inlaws helps.  They make excuses, twist the facts and just plain lie to make it sound better.  The truth is, they didn't even acknowledge my younger kid's birthday at all last year. 

That was my last straw.  I was done.  They have limited their contact with my younger two on their own, I am choosing to limit their contact with my oldest until they all can be treated equally.  My DH is on his own. 

Oops, while I was posting, I saw Justus's post.  I do have a master calendar of the entire families events sitting on the side of the fridge.  It cannot be missed.  Everything from the kid's scouts, soccer, ball and choir, to every holiday and family b-day, including the inlaws.  Since DH travels, I do another master calendar and add it to our joint email address so he can have access at any time. 

holliberri

LL,

What would you say to the woman (married with kids) that has a stressful job that requires a lot of brainpower? Is it okay for the last thing on her mind to be birthdays or presents? Or are women just supposed to do this b/c it's their job or role? I just don't see that possibility as carrying much weight if we were talking about a woman and not a man.

2tired,

I just spoked with a social worker who explained to me that people that can not treat my kids equally (after a fair shot and open dialogue) should probably not be around any of my children. There is no differentiation. I only have one child now, so this doesn't apply to anyone in my family but it was a concern of mine. I don't blame you for limiting contact; we do have to protect our children.

lancaster lady

Holli:
I guess that we women care more .... :-\

AnonymousDIL

i don't care more lol! I forget even my own b-day! But, I do fairly good with remembering everyone else's. For once, Facebook is a good thing! lol

lancaster lady

I suppose we do make excuses for the men in our family !

I had three children ,ran my own business ,bred cats ,ran a local art club .....and still remembered
birthdays etc ..
So I've no explanation why men forget anniversaries etc !!

holliberri

Ah, now that's the answer I like. I think we've been taught to hold women to a different standard.

I was visibly pregnant before I stopped law school. The guy next to me was married to a woman who had the same due date as me. Guess who was consistently pulled aside and told about the "burdens of family/work/life balance"? Not him. Me. They were expecting me to fail; it turns out I didn't like, switched majors and found a full time job just before my due date. I wish they'd come ask me about life balance now. Ha!

I've just been amazed at the different expectations; I catch myself with them as well...I've been raised with them.

I think Pen's right.

Pooh

I don't think it's a man or woman thing either, but again boils down to personalities.  But I was totally guilty of taking responsibility for everything and letting my Ex-DH off the hook for years, simply because I was of the mindset then that women do just normally take care of more stuff.  And I did try the nice approach for several years before just finally saying, "No."  I sat down with him and asked if he could start paying the bills to take some stress off of me.  Made him a calendar with due date, when to mail them and how much.  This lasted 3 months before I started getting ugly late notices and threats of turning off electricity.  So I took them back and started doing them again because we needed electricity.  Nothing ever worked with my Ex, because it was just laziness and no desire on his part to help.

So it boils down to the person, not a gender.

Quote from: Pen on March 03, 2011, 09:41:01 am
Perhaps as wives/moms we need to encourage our DHs so our DSs will have good role models regarding the calendar stuff. Pooh has a great training method for her DH  ;)


Hee hee...works like a charm!
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

justus

Holli, you brought up a great point. I think my ILs expected I would do what DH never did even before I met him because I was the woman. DH is a Professor and gets a lot more time off than I do, so he not only had more time, but more energy.  He just doesn't care to do it.

I think it goes the other way, too. One of our students just gave birth to her 6th child two weeks ago and is back already. I was telling DH how amazing that was. I was back on my feet in two weeks after my second, but only had two children. Six kids, one of them a newborn and picking up her classes like nothing happened. Amazing!! But, I just realized that I haven't gone on and on about the Dad like I have the Mom. He works here full time and is taking classes, too. He hasn't skipped a beat even though he is a very involved Dad. He isn't one of those guys that "babysits" his own kids, he takes care of them as much as the Mom does. Granted, he didn't give birth two weeks ago, but I am sure he is having as many sleepless nights and he has taken over the bulk of the childcare and housecare when he isn't working.

holliberri

Justus,

That's amazing what both of those parents are doing. 6 kids, whew! I'm amazed. It definitely goes the other way! Dad's don't get enough credit for the work they put into their family too...it's not recognized. People say that DH goes to work to pay the bills, but they forget that I work, and he is also changing diapers, playing with DD and making sure she's fed. We do butt heads sometimes, but he's wonderful.

LaurieS

Quote from: AnonymousDIL on March 03, 2011, 07:33:18 am
Although, MIL is probably going to get a pasta pot for Mother's Day. It was the coolest gift we got when we got married and my mom is getting one too! lol

Apparently this is the newest and coolest with younger people.. my dd said that her bf will help cook just to get to use the pasta pot... I was looking at one today in Target, made by calphon or however you spell it.. I have to admit... looked like fun