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Expectations too High?

Started by worrysome, January 06, 2014, 04:37:58 pm

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My family used to use me as a middle man too (called in psych: triangles) when I allowed it.  "why has he excluded us? "what did we ever do to him?"  "I still did not get a thank you for the gift" "can he come over to help,,?" " "what is your sister's problem?" "is he going to show up for Easter?"

In my earlier, full nest mom role, i was used to being DS' secretary lite and would coach him to follow our family norms and such but now he is his own secretary, unless wife does it for him but no longer my job, man!

Now any feedback, criticism, nagging and even compliments, I might say:

"I hate to hear about your struggle. I am sad and disappointed about it too but I am sure the other party might be open to making the relationship better and the best thing is for you to talk directly with them..."  or

"It's so nice to hear your compliment, etc, but you really should share with the recipient as I'm sure they'd like to hear from you and u might brighten their day."

I will indulge only to the point that the person with the problem is asking for help on resolving the issue.  I always try the direct approach first, with proper time and place in mind.  If that doesn't work, try an impartial 3rd (not you) who can facilitate the conversation with respect for all parties. If the parties are unwilling to try these two steps then they are not ready to make changes.  What do you do?  Absolutely nothing.  it is not your fight.  Redirect any negative back stabbing comments back to the complainer and tell them that you must leave it between them and the other party.  If they still ignore your boundaries, then tell them you must end the conversation and would be happy to talk again about more positive subjects.

Many times, we want to heal all hurts and slights and get it over in one big pow wow but what is the point?  The past remains the past and all we can do is learn from it. How can a blamed person be expected to remember back years ago?  Feedback must happen as close to the event as possible so it is fresh on everyone's mind for it to even be believed.  So, no going back to 1972.....I call this full dump of hurts, "the greatest hits"  Focus should be on how do we move forward, what are the common ground rules, when can we meet to talk again?

I have been disciplined to follow this since Feb/13 with my entire FOO and it has worked!  They still struggle with getting along and focusing on who is right instead of making real progress but, hey, my life has gotten much more peaceful! 

Hugs again!


FAFE, hugs accepted and appreciated.  God presented this situation for me to learn.  I AM LEARNING, with help from you and all who have responded.  It's not worth the anxiety.

Footloose, I'm so glad you were able to find a successful approach with your FOO and stuck with it.  :)

Question for all:  How do you handle when (DIL or girlfriend) call and want to tell what is wrong/problem with significant other?  (DIL or girlfriend) tell me problems with their relationship or what (DS or OS) have done or not done.  I'm really not comfortable with hearing 'their dirty little secrets'.  I don't understand the mentality of these 30 yr. old females?  What is the best way to say, "I can't be a part of this" without offending them?  Especially DIL, with GD.

Again thanks to all for your support!


QuoteWhat is the best way to say, "I can't be a part of this" without offending them?

Preface the statement with "Because I trust you and love you, I can't be a part of this".  And, to make the situation "light", one could add - "it is one of the blessings of being a grandmother" or something similar (followed by a slight giggle or laugh)  and then change the subject.  But, I'm sure others will have other options from which you can choose.


How about saying..."Oh, that is more than I needed to know"...I had a neighbor who said that whenever you tried to tell him anything about your health.  My feelings were not hurt but I did learn to stay away from the subject. 

Of course the new way is to just say.."This is awkward"  but if you don't talk that way maybe just tell her that talking about that makes you feel awkward.  It is often less hurtful to describe your feelings rather than to tell someone what they are doing wrong.  Good luck!!
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
Author unknown


My mother's mantra was - I didn't make you marry so and so, did not have anything to do with your choice of divorce, but if you are being harmed or abused, I'll move heaven and earth for you.  YOU and YOU CHOICE need to talk about this and make your decisions, etc.  Worked for her and all her 7 children, who(m) she raised by herself. 

One of my first sister in laws told me one day when I was fussing about her brother - YOU chose him out of all the men/boys in the world.  YOU have to deal with it.  And, I learned it was so true.

I think I've wandered off the subject a little, but that's how I roll!  Hugs to all who need them today, and tomorrow, etc.


I've told my DIL when she wants to start complaining about my YS, "Sorry you two are having issues but the one thing I have learned about relationships is that the only people that can work it out, are the two people involved.  It will make your marriage stronger if you can learn to communicate with each other."  And then I change the subject...ha ha.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


Jdtm, Stilllearning, FAFA and Pooh, thank you for taking time to post these useful responses.   :)

I will have to practice saying these and hope I am ready for the verbal attack. 

I am so pleased I found this support site. 

Thanks Again