Author Topic: Today was a real EYE OPENER  (Read 3249 times)

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Offline Miss Understood

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Today was a real EYE OPENER
« on: August 26, 2010, 04:22:44 PM »
Just wanted to tell all the MIL's out here that are going through the same miserable situations that I am a story.
Went to my Dr. Today. I am not feeling so well, go figure. For me though, I am recovering from Cancer and I get sick easily. Stress doesn't make it any better. Anyway....I decided to talk to him about my stress, etc. He told me that he encounters this every day from his patients. He said that not a day goes by that a patient doesn't come in to get on meds or talk about their estranged son because of DIL issues. I was amazed by this. Anyway...we talked in length and he gave me his version of suggestions.

Now, my Dr. is in late 30's, married with 2 sons, wife is very family oriented but he has personal experience with this situation. He said, "Keep the door open by calling or trying to touch base with Son and let him know you would like to be a part of his family, but he will ALWAYs be a part of yours. That there is nothing that warrants you two to not be a family anymore. Let him know that you feel bad that there is a lack of communication and that you do not want to beg for him to be part of your lives. Let him know that you love him and that you will be here when he figures it out.

Also, an acquaintance that I haven't talked to in a while (business related) phoned me today. We lost contact due to his change of jobs through a divorce. He shared with me today that he was the same type of DS until the separation between him and his wife. He said 9 years of treating his family horrible. He said he has talked to his folks more in the past month than in 9 years. He says he didn’t even realize he was doing it…It was like that was the way it was and that’s that. He also said he remembered his father phoning him once and telling him his mother was so upset. His response was, “I have a family now, can’t bother with what is making mom upset” He said he feels awful and realizes he was not right and he knows that his relationship with his mom and dad are never going to be the same. He also told me that his mom doesn’t hug him the same and his father won’t even look him in the eye. Even after apologizing, they are still so hurt. He got upset.

So….I hope this info helps someone understand. The boys are under a spell….There really isn’t much we can do except love unconditionally and hope that their marriage doesn’t last or they grow up and grow a set.

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Today was a real EYE OPENER
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2010, 08:18:32 PM »
Good subject. I think some are under a spell...some are disinterested...some are terrified...and some area all of the above. I hope the mom and dad cited forgive him and understand that he's trying to make amends.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline Pen

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Re: Today was a real EYE OPENER
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2010, 10:21:25 PM »
Thanks for posting this, MU. Very interesting.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline Miss Understood

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Re: Today was a real EYE OPENER
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2010, 05:38:02 AM »
I hope the mom and dad cited forgive him and understand that he's trying to make amends.

My Friend says they have forgiven him...they are just not the same. He said his mom acts afraid to get close to him. He hurt her. I know that even though my son has only been gone from me a few months, that I too will be afraid. for lots of reasons. Mainly afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing and this happening again. I don't think anyone does good under emotional black mail.

I have gotten to the point where I go back and forth. I want My DS, DIL, GD back in my life....but then when I think of how they have talked and treated me, I get angry. I don't deserve it, never have and never will. How in the world could this have happened? Why does this happen? All that stuff goes through my head. Then...I have severe reservations. When I am thinking with my logical side....I'm strong, confident, have faith and believe in me. But...And I know Luise you hate that word....But, When I am in my emotional side....I am a desperate mother not ready to let her son be gone for good. Why should he anyway? Just because he gets married. I didn't sign up to raise and nurture a child to only have some space ship come land and cart him away. I do believe my DS was snatched up and replaced with a double  :-\

cremebrulee

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Re: Today was a real EYE OPENER
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2010, 05:57:55 AM »
I hope the mom and dad cited forgive him and understand that he's trying to make amends.

My Friend says they have forgiven him...they are just not the same. He said his mom acts afraid to get close to him. He hurt her. I know that even though my son has only been gone from me a few months, that I too will be afraid. for lots of reasons. Mainly afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing and this happening again. I don't think anyone does good under emotional black mail.

I have gotten to the point where I go back and forth. I want My DS, DIL, GD back in my life....but then when I think of how they have talked and treated me, I get angry. I don't deserve it, never have and never will. How in the world could this have happened? Why does this happen? All that stuff goes through my head. Then...I have severe reservations. When I am thinking with my logical side....I'm strong, confident, have faith and believe in me. But...And I know Luise you hate that word....But, When I am in my emotional side....I am a desperate mother not ready to let her son be gone for good. Why should he anyway? Just because he gets married. I didn't sign up to raise and nurture a child to only have some space ship come land and cart him away. I do believe my DS was snatched up and replaced with a double  :-\

That is how I felt and still do feel....I don't believe our relationship will ever be the same again...however, relationships do change, mature and people change....so, please assure him, that a mother's love is never ending...she just fears that when he marry's again, the same thing will happen and she wants to be ready for it....we tend to pull back and distance ourselves more so then push when we are hurt so deeply...it's safer that way....however, in time, when he remarries, he needs to make sure his wife, is able to love them for they're faults as well...they are not her parents, nor will they ever be....and sometimes loving someone means loving them even when it's most difficult to do....

they are no longer our babies....they are grown adults...my girlfriend has 3 sons, all married, and she never hardly calls them....they call her...she was able to let go, and she has a great relationship with her DIL's.  However, she knows the boundaries....she won't interfer...and she loves unconditionally, however, she is a door mat to no one.....she's a good loving person, more forgiving then anyone I know....but she can also be tough....when it comes to her own personal boundaries....

Hugs to you....Creme
« Last Edit: August 27, 2010, 06:00:04 AM by cremebrulee »

1Glitterati

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Re: Today was a real EYE OPENER
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2010, 01:51:05 PM »
I don't believe our relationship will ever be the same again...

I feel exactly this way...except I am on the other side of the relationship.  I also differ in that since I have reached this point I don't ever want to give dh's parents the opportunity to betray us again.

Dh has a relationship with them.  I keep mine as minimal as possible.  Dh makes all arrangements for the kids to visit and does all pick ups and drop offs.  I only speak to them when it's a true emergency.

Offline Pooh

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Re: Today was a real EYE OPENER
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2010, 01:57:34 PM »
MU, great story and very interesting to hear from a Dr. that this is common.

I have a lot of respect for you Glitterati.  I hate that you don't have a good relationship with your ILs, but admire you for not standing in the way of your DH and children's relationship with them.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline Miss Understood

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Re: Today was a real EYE OPENER
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2010, 02:45:59 PM »
There must be something in the atmosphere....
First of all. My neighbor phoned me to ask a favor and then asked about my son and the baby, how were they...he hasn't seen him at our house in a while. When I told him a little...he said his brother did the same thing to their family. For NO real apparant reason, he wrote them all off. His Wife was a control freak and would twist things around and make it nearly impossible for anyone to have a relationship with either of them. That was 20 years ago. My neighbor got emotional when he mentioned that when his mother died...his brother didn't even return the phone call. How awful.

Secondly, I was at the hair salon (doing something nice for me today) and there was a lady in the next chair bragging about how her daughter lets her have free reign with the 2 grandaughters and her life is so wrapped up in them. She then said, "I feel guilty sometimes when I love on them so much, I have 2 other Grandchildren that my son and his wife won't let me see. I don't know why...she hates me for some reason." My heart sank. We chatted a bit and then she hugged me and told me that it won't ever feel right...I will always feel empty.

Third...I ran into my son's best friend, who I guess is getting the cold shoulder too now adays. He said that he is not the same person and doesn't even recognize him much. The little contact they have is mostly watching him be mad or upset or complaining about someone or something. He also said they argue alot and my DS expressed to him one night he was unhappy but afraid that if he didn't do what she wanted or try to make this work she would leave with the baby and he would never see her again. Now...this is 2nd hand, so I don't know if it is true.
Though, I did have a happy feeling for a moment knowing all things weren't perfect in the newlyweds paradise. Am I bad for feeling that way?

barelythere

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Re: Today was a real EYE OPENER
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2010, 03:03:59 PM »
There must be something in the atmosphere....
First of all. My neighbor phoned me to ask a favor and then asked about my son and the baby, how were they...he hasn't seen him at our house in a while. When I told him a little...he said his brother did the same thing to their family. For NO real apparant reason, he wrote them all off. His Wife was a control freak and would twist things around and make it nearly impossible for anyone to have a relationship with either of them. That was 20 years ago. My neighbor got emotional when he mentioned that when his mother died...his brother didn't even return the phone call. How awful.

Secondly, I was at the hair salon (doing something nice for me today) and there was a lady in the next chair bragging about how her daughter lets her have free reign with the 2 grandaughters and her life is so wrapped up in them. She then said, "I feel guilty sometimes when I love on them so much, I have 2 other Grandchildren that my son and his wife won't let me see. I don't know why...she hates me for some reason." My heart sank. We chatted a bit and then she hugged me and told me that it won't ever feel right...I will always feel empty.

Third...I ran into my son's best friend, who I guess is getting the cold shoulder too now adays. He said that he is not the same person and doesn't even recognize him much. The little contact they have is mostly watching him be mad or upset or complaining about someone or something. He also said they argue alot and my DS expressed to him one night he was unhappy but afraid that if he didn't do what she wanted or try to make this work she would leave with the baby and he would never see her again. Now...this is 2nd hand, so I don't know if it is true.
Though, I did have a happy feeling for a moment knowing all things weren't perfect in the newlyweds paradise. Am I bad for feeling that way?

I felt like it was something like this...poor him

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Today was a real EYE OPENER
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2010, 04:32:59 PM »
I know it's hard to focus elsewhere when you run into the same dynamics everywhere you look, but that's where healing lies.

On my counseling Website, www.MomResponds.com, the question, "Why does my adult son hate me?" is the one most often asked. That's how this Web-forum came into existence. It didn't help much for me to answer, "Beats me! I'm in the same boat!"

My son died at 52 and we were still trying. We never gave up but he was trying to love someone he hated and I was trying to understand why when he died of sleep apnea ten years ago. I have wonderful, grown grandsons who don't understand it and a wonderful teenage great granddaughter who doesn't know it even happened. Time heals.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

1Glitterati

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Re: Today was a real EYE OPENER
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2010, 04:59:20 PM »
MU, great story and very interesting to hear from a Dr. that this is common.

I have a lot of respect for you Glitterati.  I hate that you don't have a good relationship with your ILs, but admire you for not standing in the way of your DH and children's relationship with them.

Pooh...it took me more than 3 years to get to the point I"m at now.  They are slowly inching back in...and to be truthful, I really don't like it.  I deal with it.  And, also to be truthful, sometimes the time I let them see the kids it's because it's to MY benefit for the kids to be with them that day.  (Something with work, needing to run errands, being at the hospital with another family member, etc.)

I have come very far from where I was...but please don't think I'm something I'm not.  I haven't made the changes I made out of the goodness of my heart.  I made them to survive.  I couldn't carry around that much hate and anger any more.  It was killing me.

Offline Miss Understood

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Re: Today was a real EYE OPENER
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2010, 05:07:07 PM »
I'm sorry Luise :(

kathleen

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Re: Today was a real EYE OPENER
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2010, 05:43:24 AM »
Glitter,

You have made the best point I have read on MILU in weeks.  And that is, to carry on with hate is to deeply and sometimes irrevocably harm yourself.  You have stopped the Blame Game.  You have denied yourself the infusion of poison vis a vis, "Where can I find fault today?  My MIL has to be guilty of something, and once again today, I'm armed and dangerous and on the hunt.  She has to have done something wrong, and if I search hard and long enough I will find it."

I cannot tell you how heartening it was to read that you maintain minimal contact while your husband, it appears from what you have said, is free to continue his relationship with his parents.  You show enormous maturity and strength in allowing them "back in" while maintaining your dignity vis a vis boundaries.  Your motivation for so doing doesn't matter as much as your realization that you need to let go of the poisonous negativity.  I applaud you with a standing ovation.  I know it is not easy to be kind to people who have treated you badly.

I am finding I cannot deal with the blame-seekers.  All they seem to want is to prove a point while bashing various members of their families.  Perhaps that word "family" is unfashionable today and may even go out of existence. I hope not, for in the past it was the greatest bulwark of humankind against an often hostile, uncaring world.  Most ethical religions say, "Look to yourself for fault, correct it, and let the rest go."  Then there's "Honor your Father and Mother (in-law?")

My husband's mother, and my own mother's father, were anything but saints.  I watched my parents take in my grandfather when he was old and ill.  True, he never once interfered with their parenting or their lives.  But he had been a serious alcoholic, an absent father who impoverished my mother's family while she was growing up, and I am sure any number of the creepy parenting "experts" that have sprouted like weeds over the past twenty-thirty years would have been right in my mother's face telling her what a risk it was to the fragile psyches of her precious little darlings to have this man living in our home.  While he was there, he never touched a drop, though she never hid bottles from him ever.  He lived to the ripe old age of 79, having created the strongest bond with a child of his life, with my youngest sister.  He looked forward daily to the time she came home from school, taught her to speak fluent German and when he died, she truly mourned him.  I still remember them laughing together, as I looked in wonderment on my father, who had lost his own father at age 11, for whom this was a very problematic in-law, to whom he had offered a home and financial support in old age. As a result, Grandpa never spent a single day in any nursing home.  And no one would have had more right than my parents than to place him elsewhere.  He died of a sudden heart attack in our home, until then he had been healthy enough not to need nursing home care.  There was absolutely nothing in this for my father except the opportunity to fully practice the religious beliefs he so strongly espoused, not just saying it, but doing it. There were many reasons to love my dad, but this was prime among them: doing unto the least deserving, as he would wish to be treated himself in that position.

This was the role model I had, so when confronted with a MIl with similar problems---who did not like me---I acted as my parents had.  She did not live with us, but we supported her.  Whether she liked me, how abysmal her grandparenting was, did not matter to me one whit.  She was my husband's mother and I did what I could to have a relationship with her.  My children, I strongly felt, had the absolute right to know her, no matter what her faults, and I refrained from listing them to my children.  Eventually we had a time of great closeness; I helped her get a job when my husband's father did, and everyone in the family was grateful to me at the time.  Now that she is gone, I have that to look back on, not an endless picking over of her deep flaws and personality problems and making her feel them again and again.  Yes, I am proud of that, but I don't take the credit.  It belongs to my mother and especially my dad.

I think that you will truly reap the rewards of your attitude when your children are much older.  It's possible one will marry a person who does not like you and your husband, yet your child will have the example of what to do in that situation.  I am further glad you are still "speaking minimally" to your in-laws, because where there is open communication, there is hope of change.  Our children deserve to know there is always hope for improving relationships.  There was a time when I never thought my MIL would be close to me, but we became very close.  And when we are letter-perfect people, we can then begin to catalogue and punish the faults of others, in my opinion.

Do unto others; our children and grandchildren are watching.  They do indeed learn what parents live; I am an example.  You are giving your children a great gift.

Kathleen

barelythere

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Re: Today was a real EYE OPENER
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2010, 06:26:49 AM »
Glitter,

You have made the best point I have read on MILU in weeks.  And that is, to carry on with hate is to deeply and sometimes irrevocably harm yourself.  You have stopped the Blame Game.  You have denied yourself the infusion of poison vis a vis, "Where can I find fault today?  My MIL has to be guilty of something, and once again today, I'm armed and dangerous and on the hunt.  She has to have done something wrong, and if I search hard and long enough I will find it."

I cannot tell you how heartening it was to read that you maintain minimal contact while your husband, it appears from what you have said, is free to continue his relationship with his parents.  You show enormous maturity and strength in allowing them "back in" while maintaining your dignity vis a vis boundaries.  Your motivation for so doing doesn't matter as much as your realization that you need to let go of the poisonous negativity.  I applaud you with a standing ovation.  I know it is not easy to be kind to people who have treated you badly.

I am finding I cannot deal with the blame-seekers.  All they seem to want is to prove a point while bashing various members of their families.  Perhaps that word "family" is unfashionable today and may even go out of existence. I hope not, for in the past it was the greatest bulwark of humankind against an often hostile, uncaring world.  Most ethical religions say, "Look to yourself for fault, correct it, and let the rest go."  Then there's "Honor your Father and Mother (in-law?")

My husband's mother, and my own mother's father, were anything but saints.  I watched my parents take in my grandfather when he was old and ill.  True, he never once interfered with their parenting or their lives.  But he had been a serious alcoholic, an absent father who impoverished my mother's family while she was growing up, and I am sure any number of the creepy parenting "experts" that have sprouted like weeds over the past twenty-thirty years would have been right in my mother's face telling her what a risk it was to the fragile psyches of her precious little darlings to have this man living in our home.  While he was there, he never touched a drop, though she never hid bottles from him ever.  He lived to the ripe old age of 79, having created the strongest bond with a child of his life, with my youngest sister.  He looked forward daily to the time she came home from school, taught her to speak fluent German and when he died, she truly mourned him.  I still remember them laughing together, as I looked in wonderment on my father, who had lost his own father at age 11, for whom this was a very problematic in-law, to whom he had offered a home and financial support in old age. As a result, Grandpa never spent a single day in any nursing home.  And no one would have had more right than my parents than to place him elsewhere.  He died of a sudden heart attack in our home, until then he had been healthy enough not to need nursing home care.  There was absolutely nothing in this for my father except the opportunity to fully practice the religious beliefs he so strongly espoused, not just saying it, but doing it. There were many reasons to love my dad, but this was prime among them: doing unto the least deserving, as he would wish to be treated himself in that position.

This was the role model I had, so when confronted with a MIl with similar problems---who did not like me---I acted as my parents had.  She did not live with us, but we supported her.  Whether she liked me, how abysmal her grandparenting was, did not matter to me one whit.  She was my husband's mother and I did what I could to have a relationship with her.  My children, I strongly felt, had the absolute right to know her, no matter what her faults, and I refrained from listing them to my children.  Eventually we had a time of great closeness; I helped her get a job when my husband's father did, and everyone in the family was grateful to me at the time.  Now that she is gone, I have that to look back on, not an endless picking over of her deep flaws and personality problems and making her feel them again and again.  Yes, I am proud of that, but I don't take the credit.  It belongs to my mother and especially my dad.

I think that you will truly reap the rewards of your attitude when your children are much older.  It's possible one will marry a person who does not like you and your husband, yet your child will have the example of what to do in that situation.  I am further glad you are still "speaking minimally" to your in-laws, because where there is open communication, there is hope of change.  Our children deserve to know there is always hope for improving relationships.  There was a time when I never thought my MIL would be close to me, but we became very close.  And when we are letter-perfect people, we can then begin to catalogue and punish the faults of others, in my opinion.

Do unto others; our children and grandchildren are watching.  They do indeed learn what parents live; I am an example.  You are giving your children a great gift.

Kathleen

Kathleen, you make great points. I don't want to look back on my life and have regrets. I think that's one thing that people suffer from when they age more than anything else. I'm sure many people regret things they haven't done like going to exotic places but most people suffer from unresolved anger and hatred as they age.  I hope I can cast all those things aside and try to "be kinder than necessary because everyone you know is fighting some kind of battle whether you know it or not."  That is one platitude that I love.

Offline Miss Understood

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Re: Today was a real EYE OPENER
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2010, 06:41:11 AM »
I woke up in the middle of the night (of course...do I sleep anyway?) Well, I had a huge thought....Maybe the reason I have a hard time letting go is: I know that I made mistakes in my life, I know the concequenses, I know what I would have done if I knew better at the time....I know of forgiveness, of looking at the positive in people vs. their shortcomings, I know about compromise, making ammends, etc. etc. etc.
So, as a mother...and the fact my son is just out of highschool a year with a wife and baby....I feel helpless. I still want to protect and teach him the difference between right and wrong. I want to get him through this so there is little regret or such severed relationships. I want to see him get rid of his anger, find forgiveness and enjoy life. I want him to be happy!!!!!! I know I can't help him...he's grown and married and the mistakes that he is making is his concequences and I know that he will have to learn on his time and I know that he may very well permenantly sever or damage relationships for good. I know all that....It just pains me knowing that he is headed down the wrong path.