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Started by bettylou, April 15, 2010, 11:50:37 am

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1Glitterati

QuoteI'm feeling as if words are being taken out of context and twisted around. I also feel as though many DILs here are not able to look at these issues from any perspective other than their own and are pouncing on women who are in pain, confused, hurting, and rejected.


I think people on both sides feel that way--the mils about the dils and the dils about the mils.

Quote
Please think about it honestly. Do you think you'll be able to walk away like you never gave birth and nurtured your children? Really? Try to put yourself in the place of these sad moms for just a minute. Maybe we can all understand a little better.


I think that's a very good question.  I also think, and I'm just talking in generalities--not about anyone, that many times there exist issues in the parent child relationship that the child has not brought to the forefront or stood up to the parent about and that the new spouse is a convenient excuse or gets blamed when the child doesn't spend as much time with the parent anymore or starts standing up to the parent as an adult.

1Glitterati

Quote from: penstamen on April 16, 2010, 10:25:27 am
Her family is pretty enmeshed


I ask this out of curiosity ...no snark or sarcasm.  Would you call your family close while hers is enmeshed?  What makes hers enmeshed vs close?

Is part of it that you guys are willing to invite people into your lives but she isn't?

elsieshaye

"many times there exist issues in the parent child relationship that the child has not brought to the forefront or stood up to the parent about and that the new spouse is a convenient excuse or gets blamed when the child doesn't spend as much time with the parent anymore or starts standing up to the parent as an adult."

This was exactly the situation with me.  My parents and I were extremely close - I would call it enmeshed, in the sense that they really felt that it was the 3 of us against the world, and other people were intruders - and it was impossible for me to say no to them in anything.  The very first time I ever said no to them about something and stuck with it was when I started dating my now-XH.  I was 21, and had pretty much always expected to live with them and take care of them, but didn't really like the idea of that life.  I just didn't know that I even could just stand up for myself.  When I moved out, I didn't know how to cook or clean up after myself, and didn't even know how to get to the store if someone didn't drive me!   My then-DH was a buffer between me and my parents, and gave me an excuse to separate from them.  We were no-contact for 3 years, during which time I grew a backbone and a lot of self confidence.  When we finally did start speaking again, I didn't find my parents as threatening, because I had developed the ability to be someone independent of their opinions.  Our relationship improved hugely. 

The same was not true of my marriage, unfortunately - then-DH liked that I was dependent on him for even small things, and became very angry and threatened when I got stronger and more independent.  He liked that my parents were not close to me, because it made me cling to him more, and was very uncomfortable when I started speaking to them again.  I was still more enmeshed with them than was totally healthy, and it took me a long time to get a really adult relationship with my parents.  Took me a long time to get mostly-un-enmeshed with my XH, too, but that wasn't as pervasive an enmeshment to break, so it happened much more quickly.
This too shall pass.  All is well.

MLW07

Quote from: bettylou on April 16, 2010, 10:15:11 am
Wow so many good responses, in some ways it is hard to read that I am to blame but I guess this is the call that I needed.  I needed to see in black and white that sometimes I have overstepped my boundaries, sometimes I have been the one that is not in the right.  It was hard but I thank all those, especially the daughter in laws who spoke to me kindly eventhough I probably raised some anger or hurt in them.  I am sorry if I did that.
Well I guess I will start this way, here is what I have wanted in a relationship with my son and daughter in law, I have wanted an open line of communication where daughter in law can say things to me like "I don't think that is a good idea or I do not yet feel comfortable with that, or this is the reason I took offense."  Instead it is always the same pattern, they leave here and my son calls complaining and then it is a three ring circus where she won't take my calls or speak to me to hear me say I am sorry and to treat me like I am an adult too just like her.  If we could just talk it out without son I think it could work better but she will not do this.  When I try she says she does not want to talk about it again.  I can not force anyone to communicate when they do not want to.  I wanted a daughter in law that could come over anytime to visit with me with or with out her husband and baby.  I wanted us to be friends, to have a bond.  It seems I have messed up so royally how to get there now?
  I just need to know how to move forward now, how can I fix it for my self and my family?  I just want to get along and love eachother.  I do not want to mother my grandson I am too old to raise a baby and I do not want that, I do not even want to be the full time sitter, I am busy, but I want to go to to granparents days at the schools and I want to have him come see us, not to take over, I hever gave any parenting advice to them because I know that hurts and they need to find out what workds and doesnt on their own.  I have said sorry so many times, when will it be enough to move ahead?


BettyLou,

If your DIL will not communicate with you, you can't fix the problem.  It is one thing for your son to talk to you, but as we know men sometimes do not know how to say things or to even communicate as they hate conflict.  Your DIL should definitely open up and talk to you.  I tired with my MIL, but all I got was this is the way I am so get over it.  Never mind I was trying to tell he how she makes me feel and that if I was treated different we would have no issues.

MLW07

Quote from: Postscript on April 16, 2010, 10:18:31 am
Pen, My husband and I have that kind of relationship with my parents (except my father drinks beer) and that was the kind of relationship I envisioned having with my Mil and Fil.  The kind of relationship where it's; equal, comfortable and well, friendly.

I get exactly what you are saying, you are mourning the loss of the adult friendship you expected to have with your son and his wife.   I actually get along quite well with my Fil and probably could have that kind of relationship with him, it's just my Mil is still clinging to her role as a mother of small children.  I understand too as her husband, it's my Fil's role to form a united front with his wife, like you have talked to your son, we have talked to Fil.  If anything he is the one "stuck in the middle" here.

To that end I wonder sometimes why he doesn't just tell her, stop trying to control them, they are adults now?  Maybe he does and she won't listen?  Do you think your Dil will ever come around? I still hope my Mil will.



Well said Post.  Sometime I think I mourn the relationship that could have been more than my DH mourns the loss of his entire family.  Conflict frankly sucks.  Why can't MILs/DILs be decent and get along?

cremebrulee

April 16, 2010, 02:59:08 pm #35 Last Edit: April 16, 2010, 04:20:17 pm by cremebrulee
BettyLou, Please try and understand if you can...you are not to blame, you are in fact, simply being the person you've been for a long time...you don't know how else to be...however, to also be aware that it takes two to tangle in some cases, not all, as you know your situation better then I do...I'm simply trying to throw some ideas out there...doesn't mean your wrong and she's right, or visa versa, it is simply two people clashing for some reason.

When a son gets married, it is a huge transition, for the new wife, for the son and for the mother...son is still used to being close to mom, and wife feels rejected...or ignored, or she thinks he is ignoring her feelings...her needs to be first and foremost in his life...

I remember being at times, illogical and jealous, however, I would never have admitted that to my husband...and did encourage him to go spend quality time with her...b/c I wanted time with my mom...it's natural...however, I was young, & inexperienced...couldn't wait to start up my own home and traditions...

His mom, pushed me so much...she expected me to feel about her as her son did, I couldn't I had just met her...she started buying all these expensive gifts, which really annoyed me, it made me feel like I owed her in return and I had to do her bidding. 
She didn't mean it that way...she was just being who she was, and trying to show me, she loved me...and yanno what, we mothers do love our DIL's...but when things start happening, if we don't communicate with each other, they get way out of hand...

any problems that we had were just as much my fault as hers...we were both involved, and even though neither of us meant to hurt each other, we did...so we talked it out...and it surely did help...and I tell you I was scared to death...scared she'd be hurt and get angry with me...I mean, I sat there telling her things she did that offended me...but in the end, we both hugged and both promised to try and do better...when your a mom for most of your life, you can't turn it off...it's just the way we women are...so, please don't feel like you did things wrong...understand, she is not right and you are not wrong, it's just the difference in personalities...in time and with patience, do diligence and hard work, you may both see that ...I surely do hope so...

Hugs
Creme

Hope

Quote from: penstamen on April 16, 2010, 08:41:09 am
I'm feeling as if words are being taken out of context and twisted around. I also feel as though many DILs here are not able to look at these issues from any perspective other than their own and are pouncing on women who are in pain, confused, hurting, and rejected.

As a former DIL to a mean MIL, I get it. As the daughter of a woman who dealt with a truly horrid MIL, I get it. I understand the frustration, anger and hurt some DILs feel due to horrible treatment by their MILs. Some of the stories are really heartbreaking, and I am so sorry for those of you who are dealing with it.

We know that adults, our children and their spouses, have the right to treat us any way they choose. They are breaking no laws by shutting us out. We get that! What we don't understand is why those of us who have not been awful are being pushed aside and treated with rudeness and scorn. I've even read some posts here, directed at me and other MILs, that reflect those rude, harsh attitudes, even though Luise has said over and over that the purpose of this site was understanding and kindness.

I have a very full life, but there's a big empty spot shaped like DS. One day he was here; we talked, we laughed, we enjoyed spending time together (not a lot - he's a busy guy) in a relaxed, non-critical atmosphere. The next day it changed. Suddenly, with no warning. As DS says, "It's not you. It's her problem." Even DIL says that! DS has come to us confused and hurt by DIL's attitude, and we've said, "You need to work it out with her. She's your wife." We know we haven't done any of the things the nightmarish ILs have done - quite the opposite. Not even a drop-in. She just doesn't want us in the picture at all. We're supposed to be like salmon - spawn, produce, go away.

I can't believe that those of you who are so protective of your children and nuclear families now would be able to handle the hurtful treatment some of us are getting if your sons should marry a woman who is determined to shut you out (I truly hope it doesn't happen to you, but what if it does?) Please think about it honestly. Do you think you'll be able to walk away like you never gave birth and nurtured your children? Really? Try to put yourself in the place of these sad moms for just a minute. Maybe we can all understand a little better.


Pen, thanks for saying so eloquently what I (and many others) are feeling.  It seems that we are being short changed the respect that we had come to expect after raising our dc.  From what I've read, the mil's I have come to know on this site are not bossing their adult children around, running their lives, or expecting their ds's to be the center of their lives.  We just want to be a part of their lives - have our calls answered, be treated with common courtesy, be treated with care. Honestly, I agree that our ds's are not innocent here - they are allowing us to be treated this way.  However, I would love to be a fly on the wall to hear what they may have to endure if they defend us.  Many men would rather give in than to deal with confrontations and they don't want a constant battle.  I know our ds is layed back and would rather give in than fight.  That doesn't excuse him, but I think he's worn down.  Any way, I'm grateful for your good taste and skillful articulation.  It's so nice to have you here!
Hugs, Hope

Hope

Quote from: penstamen on April 16, 2010, 09:29:51 am
Dear Creme, I'm not wanting to be DS's "mommy" anymore...I'm done childrearing and love being free to do my thing. What I am hurt about is the sudden rejection by DIL that has changed our relationship with DS. Honestly, I'm not a cling-on. Don't want the kids to move home, don't even want to be considered for full-time GC sitting when the time comes. I have more hobbies than time, still work part-time, etc. etc.

I can visualize a scene where we're all sitting around the firepit in the patio, drinking wine, looking at the stars, talking over current events or books or whatever, or getting DS's opinion on the things he's learned in college. Doesn't that sound nice? It's not going to happen with us anymore because DIL thinks we're losers and hates being around us. That's all.

Pen,  you aren't a loser and your dil/ds are really missing out.  I hope they open their eyes soon and that together you can build a healthy relationship of mutual respect.
Hugs, Hope

cremebrulee

April 16, 2010, 05:53:45 pm #38 Last Edit: April 16, 2010, 05:55:56 pm by cremebrulee
Quote from: penstamen on April 16, 2010, 09:29:51 am
Dear Creme, I'm not wanting to be DS's "mommy" anymore...I'm done childrearing and love being free to do my thing. What I am hurt about is the sudden rejection by DIL that has changed our relationship with DS. Honestly, I'm not a cling-on. Don't want the kids to move home, don't even want to be considered for full-time GC sitting when the time comes. I have more hobbies than time, still work part-time, etc. etc.

I can visualize a scene where we're all sitting around the firepit in the patio, drinking wine, looking at the stars, talking over current events or books or whatever, or getting DS's opinion on the things he's learned in college. Doesn't that sound nice? It's not going to happen with us anymore because DIL thinks we're losers and hates being around us. That's all.


Pen, you are not loosers....your people, with feelings who love your son...my heart aches for you, and at times, I just don't know what to say, I don't want you to think I'm saying yoru not doing something right...I don't know what the answers are...I really don't, all I have to work with is my experiences...and  know your not a cling on...or expect more then your share, nor are you unreasonable...I so wish there were something I could say or do that would help...I know this might sound really innorant, but I really do believe in a lot of our cases, not all, that it's all about psycology...and I do believe, the more we understand our own DIL's the more hope we might have to calm the waters...so, please know, and hope you believe, that your not being unreasonable...when your hurt like this, it's so hard to see anything else...I know, I've been there and said the same words you are saying now...please hang strong...and try to work on healing yourself if you can...it worked for me...I don't know if it will work for anyone else...in my divorce, of course, I wanted to blame him, I hated him...for what he did to us...then, one day, years later, I started to self examine....I found more answers that way, then in blaming him...I asked myself why I chose such a dysfuncational partner...etc...I heard it said once, that answers come, when we start looking to ourselves...not that your doing anythig wrong Pen, or expect to much...and I know your situation is way different from mine...I just wish this would stop for you and everyone who is going thru this...life is way to short...and time goes so fast...Pen, don't give up hope...b/c I do believe where there is hope and love, change comes eventually...please believe in that, and most of all, never stop believing in positive energy.

I know the pain of not knowing my son anymore, or sharing his experiences...hearing what he likes and doesn't like...about life, his job, etc...I do know...and don't give up that dream...

maybe you could invite them over for a drink and some snacks....sit around the fire on the patio and just talk about things?  why don't you try?  What do you have to loose?  You don't have to bring up anything...just you, hubby, him and DIL...keep trying Pen...dont' give up...don't ever give up...

Hugs and love
Creme

Pen

Quote from: 1Glitterati on April 16, 2010, 01:47:00 pm
Quote from: penstamen on April 16, 2010, 10:25:27 am
Her family is pretty enmeshed


I ask this out of curiosity ...no snark or sarcasm.  Would you call your family close while hers is enmeshed?  What makes hers enmeshed vs close?

Is part of it that you guys are willing to invite people into your lives but she isn't?


Good question, Glitter. As Elsie said, her family felt like it was them against the world. That describes my DIL's family, too. They all work for DIL's dad and live in the same area. He controls their vacation time (they get one week which is spent with the family.) They see each other every work day and on weekends. They control all holidays and celebrations so they can continue to do what they've always done. They gossip and snark about all the children's IL's (we asked them to stop doing that in front of us because it made us uncomfortable.) No one else is good enough; no one is as wonderful as they are. They say, "As long as we're together we can handle anything."

Our family doesn't work at the same place or live near each other, and we certainly don't have delusions that we are the best people on the planet. We've always encouraged our kids to pursue their own interests and dreams, even if we weren't passionate about it. We also encouraged them to build relationships with people who could be seen as mentors (of course we kept them safe - it's not like we sent them off with strangers) figuring that the more people who loved and supported our kids the better. We don't force our adult children to attend events or celebrations against their will. We love them, and we are close, but I don't think we've ever been described as enmeshed.

We've never been invited to DS & DIL's home except to help them move, but I've heard they have people over, so I assume she's willing to let people in, just not us. Maybe the only people who are invited are her family. I never asked and they've never told.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Hope

Pen, you and your dh sound like wonderful parents.  I can imagine how difficult it is that your ds works for his fil along with other members of dil's family - and his only week off work each year is spent with dil's family.  I can't see where you are doing anything wrong.  It's just unfortunate circumstances and dil's family sounds controlling and uppidy.  I feel bad for you, your dh, and your ds.
Hugs, Hope

Pen

Thanks, Hope. I am thinking of you, too, and sending {{{hugs.}}} Knowing we're listened to and given support helps a lot, even when we're not agreed with 100%. Your calm, kind presence is like a balm when things get a little stormy here :) I really appreciate you.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Hope

Awwwwww - thanks, Pen.  I feel the same way......just having a safe place to vent or share mutual problems helps me so much.  It's like medicine to my soul to be able to communicate with others who know the same pain and even if we can't solve eachother's problems we can feel understood.  And that has a healing power.
Hugs back at 'cha.  Hope

1Glitterati

Quote from: penstamen on April 16, 2010, 07:40:22 pm

Good question, Glitter. As Elsie said, her family felt like it was them against the world. That describes my DIL's family, too. They all work for DIL's dad and live in the same area. He controls their vacation time (they get one week which is spent with the family.) They see each other every work day and on weekends. They control all holidays and celebrations so they can continue to do what they've always done.


That's a very good explanation...thanks.