Problem Solving => Daughter in Laws and/or Son in Laws => Topic started by: stilltrying2010 on April 11, 2011, 02:56:29 am

Title: it must be me
Post by: stilltrying2010 on April 11, 2011, 02:56:29 am
Very stressful events going on in our lives.  My sister recently being treated for cancer (detected early) my husbands aunt (only 7 yrs older than him) taking her own life.  My husband travelled to go to see his FOO & for funeral.  I could not go dur to health complications.  Each night he would call home speak to me & our DD.  Every time he called I heard "the family" talking laughing together in the background...  he spoke as if he were enjoying the family there (not to say they werent mourning the aunt)  After 4 days with his family he travelled the hour to see my parents - spent the day with them, had lunch etc.
I was home feeling jealous.  I would have been uncomfortable at his FOOs for that peroid of time & needed time away from all of them.  I would not feel at ease or welcomed or included, not that during such an event it should be about me just that duration. 
Had the situation been reversed I cant say I would have gone to see his parents and ifI had it would ne for a short time  & I definitely wouldnt have enjoyed it as much as he seemed to. 

It must be me that creates the issues with his family - he seems to handle them fine it is I that cannot tolerate what they do or do not, say.  Have I been making mountains out of molehills for 7 years?  Has it been me that has been the instigator initiator of all this drama?  He enjoys them while I am miserable when I am around them.  Certainly he is annoyed by them at times as well but I cant help but feel not part of his family.  I know how they feel about me, actions speak louder than words right?  I am often doing the right action but truthfully out of obligatiom only.  I have not been willing to put myself out there to feel ignored/rejected by them.  But in doing so I have not put myself out there to be accepted either (at least not for a long while)

Just sad in thinking it must be me, maybe not 100% but moe than I ever wanted to see.
Title: Re: it must be me
Post by: holliberri on April 11, 2011, 05:29:53 am

I can't say whether it is you or not. I know that I go through the same feelings that you do, and often.

I do know that often, when you've grown up with someone, you are used to their idiosyncracies, and you let more slide off your back. I think that's why we are more comfortable among people we've known a long time...we've had time to adjust to all of the trivial stuff that would drive a stranger crazy.

Marriage is just one of those tricky things where all of a sudden, strangers can become family. It's isn't an easy adjustment; and I think it is easier to just write it off the other person as a problem than it is to recognize that it takes time and have faith and LOTS of patience. I read somewhere on this site that it took at least 7 years for women to fully adjust to having an in-law (MIL or DIL). I don't think that's scientific (I didn't research it at all  ;) ) but I wouldn't be surprised if it were true. That's a good long while when there are problems and both sides aren't willing to make adjustments.

I don't think it means it is ALL you, but if you have a problem with someone, you probably are contributing something to the problem. That doesn't mean it wouldn't help if the other party was interested in making changes to what they've brought to the table. It doesn't mean they're going to, however, and it also is a balancing act: when you start making changes and compromising, it can be easy to compromise everything. We just have to decide how much of ourselves we can change, and how much we are unwilling to change.

You can always make some changes. It's never too late to put yourself out there. It is also okay to need your downtime away from them when you are with them. There is nothing wrong with that.

I'm an introvert...being outgoing is great...for a little while. The downtime and quiet I need away from people is not so much about them as it is  about me, but that doens't mean I don't need it. After I retreat, I can go back to having fun and socializing, but I do draw my energy from within myself...not other people. That means that socializing and putting myself out there is exhausting. Is it the same for you?
Title: Re: it must be me
Post by: Scoop on April 11, 2011, 05:51:49 am
StillTrying - I think it's a combination of things.

I know that I accept a lot more crud from my Mom than I ever would from my MIL.  Why? Because I *KNOW* my Mom, I know where she's coming from, I have all the unspoken words and history between us to 'cushion' any criticism.  With MIL, I just have the words themselves, and because of our (negative) history, I'm more prone to take things 'the wrong way'.

Now, I've also tried to change the way I look at it.  I've accepted responsibility for 50% of the problems between us.  I'm trying to not take her words personally.  I'm trying to put forth a bit more effort in the niceties that MIL *needs*.

It was also an eye-opener when I figured out that MIL was a bad Mom, of course she's not going to miraculously be a good Grandma.  It's not that she's withholding anything, she just doesn't know how.  It's not that she WON'T, it's that she CAN'T.

My Mom has an expression "We did the best we could, with what we knew at the time.  When we knew better, we did better."  But to me the critical part is the "Knew better - did better" part. 

So maybe you could have a good look at yourself and see where you can do better, as an exercise in making yourself a better person - not just to smooth things out with the IL's.  So think of the 50% of the relationship that YOU have control over and see what you can or want to do to make it better.  It will help your attitude and it will help (a bit) with your IL's.
Title: Re: it must be me
Post by: lancaster lady on April 11, 2011, 06:22:10 am
Hi Stilltrying
first of all the fact that you are not 100% fit could have something to do with it .
Also the fact that maybe , you might have wanted to be there to support your DH , and also see your FOO.
I think personally , that with men , it's either black or white !! With women there are lots of grey areas .
With men , if there is a family disagreement , ok fine it's over , let's get on with things .
We Women are totally different , we have to analyse everything , who said what , why she said this etc .. etc .
My own DD is still simmering over an argument from Christmas !! While everyone else is getting on with it !
I always get back to my same rant ...life is too short .!..maybe there is no hidden agenda .
Even when my boys were small , arguments and fall outs with friends were forgotten in hours .
My daughters fall outs went on for weeks !!
Maybe it's a gender thing , not you personally .....just my opinion ...of course .. :)
Title: Re: it must be me
Post by: stilltrying2010 on April 11, 2011, 08:14:33 am
thank you all for responding  :)
holliberri - I know it isnt 100% me.  I seem to swing the pendulum btwn fury and guilt in our interactions. I am aware of many things that are "normal" in his FOO are to me intrusive (btw- i too am introverted).  They all live less than 15 miles apart and barely see eachother yet on holidays or other special days will gather for HOURS, Even days - I truly dont understand what they could possibly have to say to eachother after 30 hours together.  Also how "the family" is entitled to know your business because they are well, family.  It doesnt matter that we havent spoken to aunt x in 2 years or even met distant cousin y - I know about her business - private business, never good. I would be MORTIFIED if strangers knew about my most personal struggles and hurts.  How do I function in this culture when what they deem acceptable and what I can tolerate clearly do NOT match up?

Scoop- you are right - I need to concerntrate on my 50% of the responsibility for the relationship and not so much theirs.  Sometimes I think I hold them to a higher standard than I do my own family but then on the other hand my  family would do or say HALF the crap that seems to come my way. Also, I really grasp onto the notion that since she wasnt the best mother and openly favored one child over the rest that I should not be surprised when she does this behavior with the grandchildren.   I know she had her own struggles and did what she thought was best.  They are choices I wouldnt have made.

Lancaster Lady - I am a teacher and TOTALLY see the differences between girls boths even at a young age but I'm glad you pointed it out.  SOmetimes there is stuff that totally goes over his radar - but any woman seems to pick up on.  I would like to think that its not me personally but seeing as they are all in agreement of their dislike of me, well, you see where I'm going.

I spoke to my husband who is on his way home today - can't wait :)

Thank you all for listening.   
Title: Re: it must be me
Post by: holliberri on April 11, 2011, 08:16:42 am

I am sorry about your other family troubles and ailments aside from this. I forgot to add that.

I hope you enjoy your time with DH when he returns.  :)
Title: Re: it must be me
Post by: pam1 on April 11, 2011, 08:30:38 am
ST, I think the mere fact that you even consider that it could be you makes not just you :)

Relationships are two way.  I know I have problems with some of their family culture that may be normal to others, it is definitely not normal in my FOO.  Maybe you can try to look at it that way?

It doesn't explain away everything but it has helped at times for me.
Title: Re: it must be me
Post by: catchingup on April 11, 2011, 12:31:19 pm
If it is a number of people against one you,yourself would begin to think you are the problem.In fact that makes them cowards.
Dont allow yourself to think this way.
We are all raised differantly and you are entitled to stick to your values.
Title: Re: it must be me
Post by: luise.volta on April 11, 2011, 04:38:09 pm
How others are is not about you. How you react is about you. Sending love...