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Another 360 degree turn

Started by artlady, June 10, 2012, 11:34:42 am

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I know you're grateful that you were able to see your DD & GC. We can't expect our AC's spouses to interact w/us. I'm glad my DIL is more willing to accept DS's desire to see his FOO from time to time. If she sits & plays w/her phone the entire time, so be it.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

lancaster lady

Looks like that's just how he is . At least you saw your DD and gs , my DH comes across as moody sometimes , people just say , that's just how he is . I just go my own way and get on with things . It's really me.they.come to see anyway , LOL  .


Your SIL got the wife he wanted by being who he is, didn't he?  Why would he change?

That other SIL that you are hoping for is probably not going to show up.


yep just hard to see the SIL we have now vs the one we had for 4 years till the wedding day. LL my DH is a real softy but SIL has really been so rude that DH is no longer reaching out to hug him, greet him etc, he is hoping ( which i think won't happen) he will change. It is like the counselor said he has one of those " prickly personalities " and that is just how he is .  Oh the gs was so sweet and he is growing . I'll babysit for them next Saturday night ( i offered a week ago, mainly hoping they would go to a party for her college roommate who is marrying a cousin of ours that I introduced her too thinking they would be great together, so far DD hasn't gone to a thing for her ) so they r going and I'm sitting   , yahoooooooooooo. . On top of that DH had been working in yard a bit prior to them coming , so before they left I wanted to get a pic of him with baby. DD asked was he going to change shirt/ take a shower i said no he is fine , not really realizing it was not that he was dirty etc it was that he smokes ( not in house ) . So when they were getting ready to leave ( he had not heard dd's and mine conversation just before ) I wanted him to get pic made , he was coming over to get gs, she asked was he going to change his shirt, he said no , she well you have smoke on it , . Oh well he said never mind I won't hold the baby( but he has held him at her house and she never said that but the SIL wasn't there either).  So he said I smoke so , just don't worry about it . It hurt his feelings so bad, he understands the thought behind it but this is the first time he had seen the gs in 3 months , was only going to hold him briefly ( had played with him in the walker) . So now she is sending all kinds of texts, saying she is going to call him, didn't mean to hurt his feelings , so now I'm in the middle of it again .   when does this end ?  So the visit didn't end that well , as I knew DH's feelings were hurt.  Then for the Sil only acknowledge him went he was walking out the door .  Another bump in the road, looking for the newly paved spot soon


AL: Good for you with the sweet baby!!!

I understand about the smoking thing as both a non-smoker now and a smoker a lot of years ago.  My DD and SIL smoked (still do) when GK were babies and I would just cringe to smell their clothes, even clean from the suitcase. Smokers and people who live with smokers are pretty immune to this smoke smell; I know my DD and SIL did not realize that it permeated everything and I didn't when I smoked. But you sound like how I used to be, trying to make peace with everyone and taking on the responsibility for everyone to be happy.  That's impossible, as you know.  The smoking deal is between your DH and DD, I would let them figure that one out on their own. I would nicely say, "This is between you and your dad," and the same to your DH.  It's a battle you can't win, no matter. 
Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, Today is a gift (Eleanor Roosevelt)


thanks Begonia, i did text her back as she was sending one right from the car when they left. Strange though she didn't say a word to him about not holding the baby 2 months ago when at her house and hubby was at work, but today she did. well she said she was going to call later, I'd be rich if i kept up with the times she has said she was going to call. She never does anymore . DH smokes on deck or outside , not in the house . I use to smoke . So I understand both sides but it just hurt his feelings so much. Didn't help to have this SIL sitting there not talking to anyone hardly. Glad it was a short visit as I was having trouble trying to keep from feeling the elephant in the room.


artlady, can you help me out a bit?  Since you've been posting here you've talked about your SIL and being rude, but I have not seen you state some examples other than he doesn't like to hug (which I consider somewhat subjective - not rude) and he doesn't talk very much at times.  Is he doing something beyond this that I've missed in your postings?

If not, it sounds to me that it is just plain ole differences.  SIL sounds like he is under a lot of scrutiny by you and I wonder if he has picked up on that or as well, if your DD has and that is why you're getting mixed messages from her.  I say this from my own experience, my DH picked up on his mothers intense scrutiny of me and our marriage and *he* felt uncomfortable for me.  As well, your SIL just had a baby, pretty serious illness and yet drove to your home.  I think that what he does do is going a bit unappreciated and as well, this added pressure to be more talkative. 

Maybe I'm way off base, it's just how I have been reading your posts.  I know that putting myself in their shoes that it would be difficult and I think that is the last thing you are going to want them to feel when it comes to visiting you, they will distance.  Most people will when things become more difficult.

Have you thought of any solutions for yourself, artlady?  Ones that don't involve other people changing?  What can you do to help yourself feel better?
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


People really sense when they are being judged. iMO the best way to go is have no expectations, zippo. Surround them all with love and let them find their way, but sorry I've got to agree with your daughter about the smoking and your DH's shirt. the toxins on the fabric are called "third hand smoke", I wouldn't want a baby exposed to it either. May-be your daughter felt stronger establishing a boundary on the that particular day, and that's a good thing, she's asserting herself.


I think you are right about feeling like "an elephant in the room."  (Not meaning you are an elephant). And if you feel it, then everyone does, especially SIL since he is not a birth member.  I have been in these situations where I am the elephant and where someone else is (like the drunk person) and everyone just wants to go  Something that helps me is to draw a circle and put myself in the center, then draw lines to how close or how far from you others are. This sometimes comes out way different than I think.  Just a thought. 
Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, Today is a gift (Eleanor Roosevelt)


Pam, he did his 360 degree turn around for all to see at the wedding , he was mad , mad at DD , he even left and came back. anyone who said anytying to him got how mad he was over the mascot dancing with DD and the bridesmaids doing a little dance and taking DD on the dance floor. So from there it has been down hill, he avoids all friend and family functions, doesn't talk to anyone , you have to talk to him , then he is very cold. He has said ugly and rude things to us , we have been as good as gold to him, catering to him at everyone expense to make sure he is happy because if we don't' then i get emails and texts from DD wanting to know why no one is talking to SIL. It is hard to carry on a conversation when that person clearly doesn't like you , respect you or want to talk to you. So the hospital was what really put us in a really bad place , my first gc with only child , have 2 step gs.DD called us afterwards, when we got there it was very evident he didn't want us there, never spoke to us , acknowledged us . WE are not bad people , quiet the different , very loving , big hearts and want so bad for him to want to be apart of this family . So when he said two times he thought he was time for both of us to leave , as the baby was crying and i had mentioned might be good for us to leave ,now mind you we had only been there 30  minutes ( this was 5 hours after we had been there that morning so we give them lots of space ) . We only visited about 30 minutes that morning when we arrived. DD was texting saying we hadn't visited enough or had enough time , where were we? No I don't' think he feels the scrutiny from me as I am myself always in front of him, joking , laughing , talking like there is not a problem so to keep things happy for all and especially for DD. Now DH has closed up as he has had SIL"s silent treatment long enough , the counselor said if he isn't talking them don't push him to talk so to follow his lead, so DH is doing that. It is not just with us , he does it with everyone that is visiting us. Oh he was so talkative when i was up there 2 weeks ago, nice as he could be to me , i was in shock, so I was hoping the SIL came to our house but the old one was back. Oh I'm going to be distancing myself , that is for sure . I've got lots of things i can do and I was doing great til the visit as I'd given to God and my heart was feeling so much better.I agree with you about the smoke , we understand but I think it was confusing for it to happen when before it was fine . we are fine with it but hope she knows there are other friends and family that smoke so hope she sticks to her guns. that is fine it was just the surprise and all i wanted was that special pic for memories but not going to happen. Worry about the bonding with DH.TMB  I do show them both love , bend over backwards to do for them , I'll be going up to spend the night and babysit this weekend, I offered knowing about a party they had been invited to. So yes i do all i can , but I'm letting go after this weekend they have to find their way and I've got to heal my heart. The stress from it all has caused my illness to flare up worse so now i feel like hot acid is running in feet and legs. Not fun.


Artlady, thanks for the explanation.  I do remember you talking about the wedding incident before, however, I took that as more of a clash - rather than rude behavior. 

In fact, with more of your explanation I kind of see a pattern with you and SIL.  These are all clashes on major events, mostly ones that are big for him and DD, in fact.  Could it be more of a culture or personality clash rather than rude behavior directed toward you? 

I don't think you're wrong and he's right, I do think it's more complicated than that.  Without his input you probably won't ever know the exact reasons.  But from what you're saying, both you and he have very different ideas of how things are supposed to go - in particular, how things are supposed to go that are big for him. 

All in all, I just don't think it's very good for you to concentrate on some of these things.  They can easily take on a life of their own and that's a road no one wants to go down on.  I also agree with Begonia, if there is an elephant in the room, most likely everyone is feeling it.  Because they act different in regards to the elephant, it doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad thing and maybe it's better if you reframe it in your mind that it's not bad on his part.

Just for example, my MIL would complain that I was punishing her when I would pull away.  (I learned early on that I couldn't talk to her for various reasons) Usually, when I pulled away I was too angry to deal with her.  I used to wonder if she'd prefer my angry, nasty presence over what I saw as a nice, polite distance until everything cooled down.  In hindsight, I think she would have liked angry me around, that's just how she is.  Nothing mean or untoward meant to her, that was one of our clashes however.  I saw my pulling away as the only polite thing left to do. 
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


Pam just so it is easier to understand , I"m the only one that he joins in a conversation with , that is why i feel the elephant. I laugh, talk , so interest in what he has to say , when he does talk , so I've done everything in my power to be myself , keep the peace and not to let on that my feelings are hurt . His family doesn't have the family closeness , traditions etc that we do so he is not use to the togetherness, the outgoing as they are more on the introverted side. I hug him bye and hi and sometimes he is the one that hugs first, but there are times he doesn't hug and I just don't step the line . To give you an idea when they drove up Saturday, DH was in the front yard working on a bush ( trimming) DD got out of car went over hugged him , SIL just walked on in the house . This SIL and DH were so close before the wedding closer . DH was a close to him as his own sons and looked at him that way , SIL looked up to DH and seemed to just adore him as he was getting Love and attention from DH that his own dad never gave him and still doesn't really act like he cares . DH/sil played golf, fished , emailed , text ed, shared. grill info , called . SIL wanted dh to stand up with him at the wedding after he walked DD down the aisle even with his own dad as best man. So this is and has really been super hard on dh, he feels he has lost a son and best friend and we along with everyone else at the wedding that saw how mad he got just can't believe it and no one still thinks it was from the mascot dance , but we have no clue what sparked the anger. DH has no clue but since then he has not been at all close to DH and has taken a while to warm back up to me but I kept reaching out to him over , and over and over, . DH has done the same but he can't get him back and so now he is done . So it breaks my heart . WE care about him and know we can't replace his dad but DH can and would love to fill that gap , where the pain is from how his dad treats him( we know his dad ) and I can't replace his mom ( she died 12 years ago) but I'd be there for him if he needed a mother figure ( his stepmom rides a real broom , we know her too ). I'm worn out right now , so I'm going to let them find their path, I've got to take care of me , Dh , other 2 gs and family so I can't ruin my health with all the issues. I'm just hoping and praying his medical issues turn out to be good and will not be a life long situation for them . Thanks for listening as this is the only place I can feel down, truly vent ( i do have close friends and family but don't 'want them to know how low I can get they will worry) as I'm always the one cheering everyone up, making them all laugh and look like i dint 'have a care in the world. I"m good at the happy face , very good .


I'm going to pop in one more time with a clarification. It sounds as though you've seen some serious red flags here. When I saw have zero expectations I don't mean distance yourself from your daughter and grandchild, I mean don't expect him to be any different then he is  It sounds as though he may either be having a hard time dealing with a close family, or want to isolate your daughter from the kind of support he never had. The fact is the closeness and connection he allowed before the wedding may not have been genuine, and you and she may be seeing " the real guy" now . if that's the case the worst thing you can do would be to pull away from her. I would stay close and keep my eyes open but don't spend a lot of emotional energy on him.


I found with my OS/DIL, the first two years of issues, I kept saying, "They do this...They do that....I am always nice, polite, helpful, non-intrusive, etc."  I wasn't was the truth.  I'm not perfect by any means but I as putting forth all the effort.  It took me two years of it to finally get it.  It didn't matter what I did or how I was with them, I was expecting them to be a way that they were not.  I don't have to like how they are, I don't have to agree with how they are but I had to learn to accept that was how it was and nothing was going to change until they decided.

I understand AL your position and where you are at.  I truly do.  I do think you are going to have to reach that place where you let DD worry about her life and SIL and you just enjoy your time with GC.  You will have to do this for yourself and your DH.  It's hard with SIL causing tension on visits by being aloof, but don't worry about it.  It's his choice.  Spend your energy with GC and don't worry about him.  I think you need to have a heart to heart with DD and tell her that you love her, you will support her, but can't be her sounding board for her marital, finanacial, etc. issues any longer.  It's dragging you into the middle and making you worry too much. 

I spent way to much effort and energy figuring out what OS/DIL's problems were.  Pssshhh...let them figure it out.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


AL, you remind me very much of my own mom...she's a worrier, to the point where it adversely affects her health. She tends to take on other people's stress as her own. I wish for her own health she wouldn't get so worried about things she has zero control over.

I've read a lot of your posts, and from what I gather you had a good relationship with your SIL until the wedding when this mascot thing (that I'm still not sure I understand) happened. If your SIL is the kind of person who's organized, carefully plans/researches and doesn't care for surprises, there's a pretty good chance that may have done some damage to his trust in you. DH and I meticulously planned our wedding and if someone had hijacked it, neither one of us would've been very happy. It may seem like it's not a big deal to you but maybe it's not about mascots and maybe more about the fact that you blindsided him with something on his wedding day. If you're a go with the flow kind of person, it's hard to understand why someone who doesn't like surprises would get upset about that. That's just a personality difference.

Wanting him to look to you and your husband as sort of surrogate parents is your expectation, and clearly not something he wants. As long as you keep holding on to that expectation, you're going to be disappointed. His tumultuous relationship with his dad/sm is his business, and not something you should be worrying about.

And just about the hospital thing with your gs - I'm a nurse who works in that setting. I frequently see new parents who put off attending to theirs and their baby's needs in order to entertain visitors. I've had moms who won't breastfeed their crying babies because there are visitors present (whether it's friends, GPs, aunts, uncles etc) and won't tell them to leave for fear of being rude. We encourage dads to be 'bouncers' - tell the visitors to leave if baby needs to eat, mom needs to sleep, etc. And if they're not comfortable doing that, we'll step in and do it if they ask. I often end up trying to calm down a new mom at about 3 o'clock in the morning when she's hysterical crying because she hasn't slept all day due to visitors. It's quite possible that wasn't about him not wanting you there, and more about him trying to get probably exhausted and overwhelmed new parents some quiet and rest.