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I think DIL is a narcissist

Started by Terri, May 18, 2010, 10:02:28 am

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May 20, 2010, 11:32:55 am #15 Last Edit: May 20, 2010, 11:43:45 am by Sassy
Well, we can only make changes in our own lives. Others are in charge of theirs. Wanting them to be different, agonizing over what happened, being hit so hard emotionally that it cripples us physically...doesn't help.

my expectations were mine. I manufactured them and ... weren't responsible to fulfill them. A very, very painful lesson. "I did my part...why wouldn't/couldn't they do theirs?" I had some kind of a script, some kind of a choreography and some kind of a storyline, I we could all just live "happily ever after."

I know we don't like shouting around here.  But Luise this wisdom, for healing all types of relationships, is worth shouting from the rooftops!
I came to the site to catch up and that perspective was just what I needed today in my own life.

Thank you, as always, for words to live by. 


Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Yes, it's true, and once again Luise phrased it well. Now to work on that "kicked in the gut, empty hole" feeling that surfaces every now and then when I miss my son!

Keeping busy with my own activities has never been an issue - I've got so much to do at work and home, and so many things I enjoy doing, that I'll never be bored. However, DS is a good guy - smart and funny, well-informed, a delight to converse with. We share many interests, and it's so darned hard to suddenly have limited contact.

I'll be boppin' along, minding my own business, and wham! It hits me. See? Here I go, tearing up again :(
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


I am so sorry for your pain.  But from everything I have read that you have posted, you are a very strong person and deserve to be happy.  So smile and think of all the good things in your life right now and make those tears go away!
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


Pockets of pain, dear. We stumble into them and drain them with our tears.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Pooh, thanks. You too! Luise, how true, and what a lovely way to look at it. It is sort of like hitting a 'pocket' of turbulence while bashes you around a little and then comes the smooth air. I really do have a lot to be grateful for, and knowing that helps a lot, along with the support we give each other here. What would we do without this site? I hope we never have to find out :)
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


Louise this is the best post I have read! 

Your words are so true and so enlightening.  You know how to say what we are feeling.  The sad part is the pain from time to time that sneaks back in and I miss the simple dinners, the chats and the companionship from my son#1.  I know he loves me, he does tell me which is always wonderful to hear.  I will continue to work on the negative feelings as we all do on a daily basis and hopefully the pain will surface less and less as time does heal, but I know it will always be in the back somewhere because a mother's love is unconditional and it always will be.   :)


Terri - bless your heart. 

I'm not a MIL but I am a DIL, and I think your son and DIL should count themselves fortunate to have someone who cares as deeply as you do and wants to help.....even if that was to a fault as has been pointed out.  You were being a good parent and you can't ever be ashamed of that.  I would trade my satanic MIL for you any day!

That being said, your son has issues issues issues, and those are NOT your fault. Sure, it can be argued that you made life "too easy" for him, but in the end, he had choices and he chose badly in his affair, in his treatment of you, in his allowing this woman to treat you badly, etc.  You showed him love and support, caring and compassion.  You are not to blame for that. 

Regarding his choice in affairs....we could argue that all day long.  Affairs are stupid, they hurt so many people (children, parents and other family, and friends alike), not just the couple(s) involved.  But it sounds like he's afraid to be alone..  That fear can cause people to make some really dumb moves (affairs, etc), with people they probably know are bad news, but that fear is so overwhelming that they would rather be in a bad situation than no situation at all.  My own mother is like that, and she'll admit it.  Throughout my childhood, she hopped from man to man, from bad relationship to even worse ones.  She survived emotional, verbal, and physical abuse and so did her children....all because she was terrified of being alone.  She wasn't emotionally stable enough to stand alone or financially stable enough to support herself or her girls, so she latched on to the first thing that came along....and that was many MANY men, some good, some bad, some downright awful.  When my mom's family and friends tried to intervene out of concern for her, she lied to them and pushed them away.  Even her own children.  Your son sounds very much like her. 

In the end Terri, you've done what any reasonable person would have done and there's nothing more that you can do besides be there for support without pushing down their door.  Tell them you are there to listen and help if they need or want it, and leave it at that

Maybe you could drop them a card or letter or an email occasionally, but keep it factual and UN-emotional (ie. don't use that as an outlet to tell them how they hurt you, which will only stir it up more).  The more you push emotionally, the more your son and DIL will push back, I promise that.  Tell them about anything happening in the family (marriages, babies, funerals, other big events, and small ones too!), tell them about your travels,  or trips you took, or things that happen...and close it with "I hope you two and the grandkids are doing well, and I'd love to hear about what's new in your lives too.  Much love, MOM."  An unemotional, happy note from time to time will communicate to them that you are willing to let the past go in order to move forward in the future.  Small, unemotional notes like this were the only link I had to my own mother for a long time, but eventually we got through it and mended our relationship.

Now would be a great time to do all those things you always wanted to do (travel, hobbies, etc.).  Be happy with YOUR (new) life!  :)  Sending up many prayers for you and your family.