Author Topic: Death of a Mother in Law  (Read 28638 times)

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Alicev

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Re: How a Daughter in law goes about destroying a MIL's life
« Reply #105 on: August 09, 2009, 07:00:26 PM »
There are many definitions, I will offer Melody's here: Codependent is a person who has let someone else's behaviour affect him of her, and is obsessed with controlling other people's behaviour.

It is about caretaking but not taking care of oneself, helping that doesn't help, obsessing, controlling, being emotionally overwhelmed, manipulating and letting others manipulate yourself, lots of guilt, being resistant, reacting rather than acting, being afraid to be who we are, not knowing who we truly are, lacking in self-love, misinterpreting self-love as selfishness, giving more than we receive, being in denial, lacking boundaries, being dependent, basically having one's control centre outside of oneself. 

Prissy

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Re: How a Daughter in law goes about destroying a MIL's life
« Reply #106 on: August 09, 2009, 07:11:55 PM »
Oh my Gosh, Alicev....that is me, down to a tee.  The problem is that I don't know what to do about it.  I recognize it but it's for certain that I need to work on it.

I'm not happy unless I'm doing all these things you mentioned.  Of course, that really brings me misery.  It's like a groove in a record; I play the same tune. 

Alicev

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Re: How a Daughter in law goes about destroying a MIL's life
« Reply #107 on: August 09, 2009, 08:03:07 PM »
I have a friend who grew up having one of her parents as an alcoholic. She was the first one to introduce me to the concept of codependency. So I witnessed some of her growth and talking to her made me really curious as to how did she get to that point. I asked her what had helped her and she gave me "Codependent No More". I started to read the book and I had the same reaction as you "wow, this is me! And this author knows what it is, what it feels like, what it means". So this is what has worked for me. With the kick start from Beattie's book and a lot of willingness to work on myself I have made it here. I still have a long way to go, but who doesn't. That's what life is all about.

Prissy

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Re: How a Daughter in law goes about destroying a MIL's life
« Reply #108 on: August 09, 2009, 08:48:27 PM »
I have such trouble distinguishing being selfish and doing what's best for me!  I was brought up to give to others. Others first. This will be a long journey for me but I'm willing.

lostone

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Re: How a Daughter in law goes about destroying a MIL's life
« Reply #109 on: August 10, 2009, 07:16:39 AM »
Hey everyone my name is lost one - but I like to High Stone better.  I lost one of my sons but I am no longer lost.  In fact, everyday I realize how much more connected to my life I am becoming.  I heard that is part of the grief process, where you subconciously disconnect from everyone and everything as a way to protect yourself.  I did, the only person I stayed connected to was my poor sweet wonderful and patient husband.  But even with him the connection was minimal. Now everyday I look around me and realize how fast time is flying by and how fragile life really is.  I mean people die suddenly everyday, and I could be next.  I am thankful for my estrangement in the fact it made me realize what is the most important to me and what I want to do with the time I have left.  One thing for sure, I don't want to spend it like I have most of the last 2 1/2 years in grief, alone, and disconnected from everything that gave/gives me JOY in life.  How I spend the rest of my life may not be totally up to me, but how I chose to deal with what comes my way is.

I grew up with an Alcoholic Dad and a Enabler Mother, and my sister became the responsible one, while I became the pleaser.  I agree with the definition above.  I came to realize how codependent I was after my husband left me because he became tired of living with a doormat.  I became a doormat in order to keep peace in my home and my family intact.  And it seemed to work at the cost of my confidence, my self-respect, and my dreams, for 17 years.  Guilt has always been my biggest motivator and my estranged son had manipulating me down to a science.  Becoming the parent he needed me to be after my husband left was exstreemly hard because I feared losing another person in my life that I loved.  But I did what I had to do because he needed a parent not another friend or guilt ridden pushover mom.  It was a struggle, but in the course of parenting him, his younger twin brothers were watching it all.  Had I not put my foot down (even when his dad would give in and override me) my twins saw it and learned from it.  They call their brother their Anti-Role Model.

As you can imagine - guilt reared it's ugly head when my son estranged himself from me.  I rehashed everything over and over again trying to figure out what I did - so I could fix it (the fantasy).  If I had been the mom I should have been this would not have happened.  (another fantasy).  The facts are I was a better mom than I thought I could be, and if I failed short it was not from lack of trying or intent to harm.  I loved all my boys with all I had and did the best I could.

I use to think a lot of what I now realize are co-dependent traits were hereditary.  That I was born this way and therefore would not be able to change.  I was thankfully wrong.  Becoming aware of those traits, being able to recognize them, and resisting the urge to give into them is something that I am finding gets easier with time.

If anything I have said has brought even a bit of comfort or hope, than I will give God the credit for bringin me through this with a desire to help others.   ::)

AnnieB

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Re: How a Daughter in law goes about destroying a MIL's life
« Reply #110 on: August 10, 2009, 03:36:12 PM »
Greetings.

Just checking it and saying hello.  I've read the posts on this thread and will look around some more. I have two DIL's -- three sons.   I'm OK with one DIL, evidently not with the other.

I don't know if we post stories somewhere else?  or not?  My DIL of 7 years got mad at me at a family function (a funeral of my former MIL, how ironic!)  only a month ago.  She and my son live 3,914 miles away overseas - she's evidently not speaking to me and I haven't heard from him since last talking to him 3 weeks ago before sending a letter to her, apologizing for upsetting her.

It's complicated. There's not enough space here to explain it all.  Long story short, what was a minor issue for which I apologized (over and above what was needed) it has gotten exaggerated and my apology has been ignored.  My son no longer is on facebook or twitter, nor on his own blog which bothers me.  I told him I'd stand back until she was calm enough to talk but I am wondering if perhaps what seemed a minor incident was to her the straw that broke the camel's back -- that is, there were things I'd done before that bothered her and she never told me, and this was it.

My other DIL and I seem fine, but now I realize the power a DIL has to cut a son off from the family.  I love my son -- and I know he loves me.  If she has put up a choice for him of her (and his son) or me, I have to support him in doing what he must.  But this is really really sad.  And my having two other sons doesn't make it any easier.

In any case, I'm glad I found this board. 
« Last Edit: August 10, 2009, 04:00:43 PM by AnnieB »

Offline luise.volta

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Re: How a Daughter in law goes about destroying a MIL's life
« Reply #111 on: August 10, 2009, 07:27:59 PM »
One thing we have seen here on this Forum is that a break like you are describing, (one that is out of proportion to the incident that occurred), may not necessarily be an issue of accumulated and unaddressed incidents. Sometimes it is an excuse to justify separating the adult son from his family. Maybe not a conscious scheme or a premeditated act but a plan, however unconscious, to produce that result.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Prissy

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Re: How a Daughter in law goes about destroying a MIL's life
« Reply #112 on: August 10, 2009, 08:09:51 PM »
I feel such  heartbreak for both AnnieB and Highstone that I don't even know what to say. 

It's the terrible consequence of having a son who marries one of these people who in turn, ruin our lives.  Unless we get control of ourselves by some means, we can't go on.  I admire both of you!

AnnieB

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Re: How a Daughter in law goes about destroying a MIL's life
« Reply #113 on: August 10, 2009, 08:56:39 PM »
One thing we have seen here on this Forum is that a break like you are describing, (one that is out of proportion to the incident that occurred), may not necessarily be an issue of accumulated and unaddressed incidents. Sometimes it is an excuse to justify separating the adult son from his family. Maybe not a conscious scheme or a premeditated act but a plan, however unconscious, to produce that result.

Yes, I'm slowly coming to realize this... and of course not liking it.  If it was something I had done, then perhaps I could fix it  Or maybe it was something I did.. I just don't think it was that awful. and I've tried to fix it.
Annie edit 9/3/2009 Of course, as I've been processing and learning, I've realized that it was something I did, and trying to fix it only has made things worse.  Live and learn.  I am now going to remove most of the details of what I originally posted, for a couple of reasons.

One, it reveals way too much personal information about my DIL and my son.  Two, newcomers find it troubling and may react, without realizing this was what I had posted at the time I was feeling it -- as I've listened to others and processed their reactions, feedback and comments - and as I've done some pondering on my own -- what I felt when I originally posted this no longer applies.

Suffice it to say I had stepped in with my DIL in a way I could have handled so much better.  She's not speaking to me, but I hope she will in a while.  In the process, I am learning a lot about myself, what it means to be a human being and what the role of MIL seems to be to myself and others.

My intent is not to deny or hide anything.    Peace.

[/]
« Last Edit: September 03, 2009, 03:46:28 PM by AnnieB »

AnnieB

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Re: How a Daughter in law goes about destroying a MIL's life
« Reply #114 on: August 11, 2009, 11:11:21 AM »
Anna,

I hope others can answer because at the moment I am still wrapped up and licking my wounds.  Acting out of anger is never good... "re-acting" always gets me in trouble.

In some ways I'm thankful for the distance we have because it allows me to think.  But in your case,  I would not change my behavior or things I was doing unless I thought it needed to be changed.  Changing it to get a reaction or to show someone will have the opposite effect. 

More than anything I think what I am learning here is that our children will go on with their lives as they think they need to.  They are still learning (as are we)... they are going to make mistakes to.. meanwhile, I need to go on with my life and not get stuck in this situation.

One thing I think is true is that no matter what comes out of this, my relationship with my DIL will not be the same as it was.    Now, that could be good or that could be bad.  That will depend on her and on me, both -- and perhaps on my son, her husband.    Perhaps she and I will be more honest with each other.  Or perhaps it will just be that I will be more honest with her.   Whatever happens - 15 years of silence or a phone call tomorrow - I have learned a lot from this.
 

Alicev

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Re: How a Daughter in law goes about destroying a MIL's life
« Reply #115 on: August 11, 2009, 11:20:50 AM »
Quote
Maybe I should stop trying to have a relationship with dil who doesn't want one with me, stop trying to please her, stop bending over backwards to help them when they get themselves in trouble. Stop caring.  What do you think?

I have learned that I cannot force a relationship on others. I cannot even force a certain type of relationship ( best friends). It really does take two people to make something happen. It takes two to destroy, it takes two to build. We cannot make anyone do something unless they themselves WANT to do it. So willingness is the key here.

You don't have to stop caring. When you stop obsessing over them and stop bending backwards, then that doesn't mean you have stopped caring. Caring also means you kind enough to let people face their own consequences. It means you let them learn their own lessons, let them grow. Caring means understanding that we are in this life to make mistakes. Because through mistakes we learn and grow. Through experiencing the consequences we learn and grow. You know in your heart you care. You don't need any one else's validation or confirmation.

Alicev

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Re: How a Daughter in law goes about destroying a MIL's life
« Reply #116 on: August 11, 2009, 11:48:11 AM »
AnnieB -

thanks for sharing your story. I am not totally sure that I have understood all correctly all but I will try to simplify and shorten it:

There was a funeral. You, your son and DIL all attended. Your DIL was upset with your son. She started to complain and make comments on him. (saying he needs to be punished and, etc). You decided to talk to your son about it. Your son then went and talked to her wife about it. His wife got mad at you.

To me her reaction makes sense. I am by no means saying that it was a "right" way to deal with a situation but I understand how did she come to this point.

For better understanding lets rearrange the parties. Imagine if the situation had been like this:

There is a funeral. Your son, you and DIL are attending. Whatever the reason, you are upset with your son. You don't know how to handle it but you react. Then his wife talks to him privately. Then your son comes to you and tells you that he did not appreciate your behaviour. If you were totally honest about yourself now: would you rather react to your son or DIL?

This is a natural reaction of a person that is insecure.

My best friend was married to a scoundrel. I once saw the guy out in town with another woman. I had a tough decision - to tell my friend or not? I decided to tell. She was hurt and upset. She told her husband it was me who had told her. He managed to convince her that it wasn't what it looked like. He called me and yelled at me. Then my friend got upset with me for "wanting to separate" them.

I thought I was doing the right thing. But in the end I was the one who was blamed for all. I decided to never meddle in other people's lives. It sure did teach me a lesson.

PS! She is not married to him any longer :) It did not take me to make her figure out what she really wanted. She had to live her life to figure things out on her own.

AnnieB

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Re: How a Daughter in law goes about destroying a MIL's life
« Reply #117 on: August 11, 2009, 02:09:57 PM »
AnnieB -

thanks for sharing your story. I am not totally sure that I have understood all correctly all but I will try to simplify and shorten it:

There was a funeral. You, your son and DIL all attended. Your DIL was upset with your son. She started to complain and make comments on him. (saying he needs to be punished and, etc). You decided to talk to your son about it. Your son then went and talked to her wife about it. His wife got mad at you.
editing again, taking out personal info that could identify parties and that is judgemental.   I'd say, close enough.
Mmm... well, no, not quite.   I had the presence of mind to stay out of the silliness over the flat tire and punishment. 

My concern was over an 18 month period of my hearing her berating my son's appearance in his presence and mine.


Hindsight is 20/20 -- and if I had to do it over again, instead of my being meek and mild, I think I would have (should have) responded immediately and just said something lightly, even jokingly like, I really don't like to hear my son being talked about like that.   Please don't do it in my presence. 

But I didn't say that to her.  Ever.  I focused on concern for the marriage.

« Last Edit: September 03, 2009, 03:48:50 PM by AnnieB »

AnnieB

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Re: How a Daughter in law goes about destroying a MIL's life
« Reply #118 on: August 11, 2009, 02:30:20 PM »
editing again.  Way too much detail that is way too revealing and unnecessarily whining.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2009, 03:50:11 PM by AnnieB »

Prissy

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Re: How a Daughter in law goes about destroying a MIL's life
« Reply #119 on: August 11, 2009, 03:12:15 PM »
No, you don't talk too much, AnnieB...I wish the same thing!  I wish I'd have told my DIL who was in MY home to get out and stay out when she sashayed up to the sink and threw the beverage I had poured in each glass, ice and all, into the sink and screamed: "I've told you 100 times that I don't like that beverage!!!"

I should have told her off right then.  I would have lost my son but I lost my son anyway.

The DILs on those boards are vicious, cruel and bullies.  My DIL is a bully and you know what they say about bullies, "they never stop until you stop them.

Anyone who has visited and tried to reason with DILs on those boards will understand that there is no reasoning with them.  They will eat you alive.

I'm surprised they haven't found us yet and started to eat us alive on this site.