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Problem Solving => Daughter in Laws and/or Son in Laws => Topic started by: miss_priss on July 20, 2010, 01:10:08 PM

Title: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: miss_priss on July 20, 2010, 01:10:08 PM
If you don't believe in God, the Bible, or that the Word of God should guide your life....read this post at your own risk.  If it offends you, you were warned not to read it.  If it kicks you in the heart...I pray God will guide you in your struggle.   

Confronting a difficult MIL is a lot easier said than done.  Ok, scratch that.  Confronting her in a way *that won't leave your husband resenting you* is easier said than done.  But here's an idea for DILs...it's not your place to do so.  It's your husband's.   

Some women have such a firm grasp on their sons that it's near impossible for them to ever stand on their own, I've seen this in other relationships besides my own.  Moms who simply can't let go are oddly enough the ones who complain of DIL issues.  Did someone just say irony? 

My husband and I tried all kinds of therapy, after 2 years of his mother sabotaging our relationship with lies, incomplete truths, and passive aggressive and narcississtic behavior.  We tried couples counseling, support groups for loved ones of people with personality disorders, and finally counseling with our pastor. 

Accepting that a son should "leave his mother and cleave unto his wife" (Genesis 2:24), was THE single hardest thing my husband ever did.  When our pastor got down into the nitty-gritty of what that passage means, my husband's eyes were opened.  HE realized that letting his mother lead our relationship down a path of destruction was wrong, that her gross mistreatment of his wife was wrong, that her emotional blackmail tactics were wrong.  His mother on the other hand, admittedly won't accept that she's supposed to let her son go, that its the natural order of things that she should let him make his own decisions, let him make his own mistakes, let him grow up, let him create his own family and future...and she certainly doesn't agree that her not doing so has caused problems in her relationship with her son.  Sadly, my MIL told me once that her cruelty and admonishment towards me were a "right to passage" of sorts.  Her MIL was brutal towards her, even hit her once, so she felt it her duty to pass on the tradition and "break me in right."  The relationship between my DH and his mother, and also between "us" and her, got especially rocky when DH told her he was "respectfully leaving" her in order to cleave unto his wife.  You should have seen the rage....I think Satan himself was controlling her words and actions after that.  And because his mother couldn't, at the very least, keep her thoughts to herself, my husband and I made the decision to "leave" her behind.  We now have no contact with her whatsoever, we don't visit, we don't invite her to visit, we don't accept her poisonous letters to our daughter.  MILs - take a lesson, I hope none of you ever have to know what that feels like.  I myself hope that I learned enough from her mistakes to be a better MIL someday.     

I like this website.  Our pastor directed us to it, we found it very helpful because it broke "biblical" language down into food for the soul and our relationship that we could easily digest.  http://www.gotquestions.org/leave-cleave-honor.html (http://www.gotquestions.org/leave-cleave-honor.html)

In the end...MILs, its OKAY that you don't like your DIL.  Its ok that you don't agree with the path your son is headed down with that "girl" you don't like.  But always remember, that your son chose her.  You didn't, nor did you have the right to.  Adult sons (and daughters) will "cleave" unto their partners.  And while the parent-child relationship *SHOULD* always be close, respectful, and sacred; the marriage ("become one flesh") is, should, and will be the absolute most important and intimate relationship...even above the parent-child relationship. 

More help on MIL/DIL relationships:  http://www.gotquestions.org/mother-in-law-dealing.html  (http://www.gotquestions.org/mother-in-law-dealing.html)               
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: barelythere on July 20, 2010, 01:43:04 PM
Dear Miss_Priss, this is my first post. I am shocked that your MIL is the kind of person she is. Be it known here, I for one am not that kind of MIL.  Let me repeat the words of the smartest man in the world, my Husband:  "If you are going to have kids, have at least one Daughter so you won't have to deal with a DIL who might cut you to pieces."
You sound like a Godly woman and I understand your actions and would not like to have that kind of "toxic" person in my life either.  Being Godly is the best thing you can be, it fills your heart with love and forgiveness for even your enemies, even a MIL.  God bless you.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: catchingup on July 20, 2010, 02:20:14 PM
Miss-priss. You have posted here what I was not willing to post.
No matter what our beliefs if we are Christian we obey the word of God, if we are muslim we obey the word given to them
Many people squirm when referred to "What the bible says"because the bible is understood to be a set of laws that people mostly dont like keeping. It is too difficult to obey but actually it is very easy.
It brings freedom. I always say God's laws were not given for his benefit to make our lives a boring religious misery but for our benefit.
Strange how most Mother-In-Law problems come from the husbands mother. Wise God who spoke to the husband when he instructed him to "Leave your Father and Mother and cleave to your wife"
And "Wives submit to your husband"
Therefore if a husband does not leave his Father....and cleave well wives dont have to submit to anything that is not biblical so if he submits to his Mother she cannot submit to him and so the whole biblical priciple is thrown off balance.

Men actually have the hardest part although it brings freedom "Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church" Virtually die to yourself completely and love your wife
Unfortunately some truly christian men "As head of the home" and as head have the responsibility to cover and protect their wives but they instead use the womens part "submit to your husband" as a tool to control.

As head the husband should protect his wife from any interferance from his mother.

I had this  in my own marriage and it was only saved because eventually he put the biblical principle into practise.
Unfortunately the damage MIL caused was too late to rescue. We forgive but we dont forget.MIL does not change so I always had to keep her at bay--did not abandon her or keep her son away from her but would not allow her to get too close.If I gave her my little finger she would take my whole hand.

I have 3 sons and if having an interferring mother-in-law was to benefit my role as a MIL then so be it.
I understand fully the feeling of the future daughter -in-laws and if my sons had to ask me for advise and I felt it was a decision that the pair of them should make I would refer him back to his wife.

My son offered to settle our credit card which I can manage to pay. He just felt he could make more interest than he gets at the bank and we could pay a lower interest.
He is engaged to be married and they are saving for the wedding etc.
The first thing I said was "Have you spoken to fiance" He had not.So this is where a wise mother-in-law's role fits in.She has a role to play in making sure that her son "leaves his Mother and Father and clings to his wife" although it is the responsibilty of the son to obey the word of God
 
What most people fail to understand is that God is not a policeman waiting round every corner to nail us for a wrong move.
It reminds me of the verses --I think in Isaiah--"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that brings good news"
"Announcing peace".
Peace comes with obeying the Word of God.

We are told to "Honour our mother and Father" but God also said"Parents do not provoke your children to anger"
The bible principles have to be balanced where all parties are concerned and those who dont carry them out are the ones that suffer.

There are 2 verses in proverbs that go something like this and they seem to contradict themselves
but they are used depending on the situation that arises.

"Treat not a fool according to his folly or you will become like him" Very next verse says
 "Treat a fool according to his folly least he become wise in his own eyes"

This little story would probably interest all the Americans on here.

I woke up on 9/11 and a scripture came to mind. "Enter his gates with thanksgiving in your hearts" This is not something that happens everyday. I knew it was for a reason
When I arrived home my son was watching the 9/11 news on TV and said to me that planes had flown into the world trade center. He was booked to visit the U.S. in December.
I knew immeadiately that God was speaking to me. Strangely enough I did not look up this scripture for about a week.
A friend and I were discussing the 9/11 incident and she asked me if I was worried about him going to America and I said no "He does not belong to those people who did this awful thing"

It was only then that I went home and referred to the original passage "Enter his gates with thanksgiving in your heart" and in these verses is a quote "You belong to me"
Absolute confirmation that there was no need for me to worry about his visit to the U.S.
God knew I would worry.
The times I could mention that my mind has been put at rest by The Lords communication is endless.

My sister has been a widow since she was in her 30's and had to bring up 4 children on her own.
She needed a door installed at her home and someone from the church offered to do it for her .
She had entered a competitin for a car and when this guy was there she thought of buying him a bottle of champagne--yes a christian can drink in moderation--Nevertheless her phone rang and the guy on the line said "Sorry you did not win the car but you won third prize,a bottle of champagne.
Gods coincidance.
I could write a book.
I just know from experiance God is real.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: Alicev on July 20, 2010, 02:38:04 PM
Thanks for sharing your story. I am sorry that you have had to go through difficult times like this. Your post was very emotion filled for me. I could read behind the lines that the hurt must have been so big. I am not a religious person myself but more of a spiritual one. I basically agree with the particular passage from the Bible. It looks like your husband is very protective of you and loves you very much to have participated in all the couples therapy and trying out to all the help available. It sure it has been an ordeal for him and you, including his mother. As extreme as your MIL-s reaction was in the end, it came out of insecurity and fear of abandonment. Those are really difficult feelings to deal with for anybody. Change is sometimes most difficult to accept.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: catchingup on July 20, 2010, 03:28:29 PM
Gods word is deep,very spiritual and easy to understand if we are commited to him.
It is revealed not by man but by the Holy spirit.

"The  bible" or "The word of god' is powerful.

We can read "In the beginning "God said let there be light and there was light"
He spoke and it came into being.It is difficult for our minds to understand that just saying something can create something. Well I take that literally"God said and it was done"
His word is so powerful that when he said to Peter"Come" peter walked on water.
He created a barrier on the water with one word "Come"Sound crazy it is true.
Peter did not walk on water he walked on the Word of God.
There may come a time for Miss Priss when God will give her a difficult task to perform"Time for you to humble yourself and bring your MIL lovingling back into your lives" End her suffering of missimg out on your lives  and when it does happen believe me it will be the right thing to do.

It happened to me. I picked up the phone one day and said"I think it is time the amnosity between us is ironed out"
It was never perfect but it eased relationships although as I said before I always made sure she was kept in check if she tried to interfere
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: barelythere on July 20, 2010, 04:05:28 PM
Thanks for sharing your story. I am sorry that you have had to go through difficult times like this. Your post was very emotion filled for me. I could read behind the lines that the hurt must have been so big. I am not a religious person myself but more of a spiritual one. I basically agree with the particular passage from the Bible. It looks like your husband is very protective of you and loves you very much to have participated in all the couples therapy and trying out to all the help available. It sure it has been an ordeal for him and you, including his mother. As extreme as your MIL-s reaction was in the end, it came out of insecurity and fear of abandonment. Those are really difficult feelings to deal with for anybody. Change is sometimes most difficult to accept.

Dear Faith,
Your words hit me like a ton of bricks.  It is a fear of abandonment with me.  Holding on with my fingernails to a situation where I'm criticized at every turn, not openly but you can just feel it.  Not good for me and hard for my son.  But at the heart of the story is a fear of abandonment.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: catchingup on July 20, 2010, 04:16:34 PM
God never abandons us.
In all I have said here I still take things in my own hands but then I am reminded to pray for my children. Pray that I will be a good mother-in-law.
Believing does not mean to say we will always do everything perfectly but guidence is sure helpful and the one who knows us best is God.

One gets MIL's who are church goers. Sometimes they can be the worst. Laying down Gods law never mind their own.Preaching fire,brimstone and hell. That is wrong too.
It is the same as trying to control a son's marriage,taking over Gods role in their lives.

On the funny side may we step aside and give God some of the responsibility we have had to bring up our children.
Think about it where DIL is concerned someone else has to clean,cook,wash his clothes.
Take a break we are free to go.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: donewithdrama on July 20, 2010, 05:08:48 PM
This is a serious post, but just to interject a little humor I want to share something related to it. When DH and I picked out our vows and the readings the pastor would do, the reading regarding a man leaving his family and cleaving to his wife was one of my favorites. Yes, I was trying to get a message across to MIL by choosing it. Well, when we got our wedding video back, we saw that as the pastor was doing the vows she sat there looking all sweet, UNTIL he read that passage. She whipped her head around and hissed something at FIL and then had a frown on her face the rest of the ceremony. So, I take it she got the message, lol.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: Pen on July 20, 2010, 06:26:11 PM
Oh boy. First we need to see if the statements written as fact are indeed true, for example: "Moms who simply can't let go are oddly enough the ones who complain of DIL issues.  Did someone just say irony?" In some cases perhaps, but in many cases it's not. I know in my case this isn't the issue; it's actually DIL's FOO that can't let go and they've created a situation that allows DIL to disrespect us. 
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: catchingup on July 21, 2010, 12:35:31 AM
Oh boy. First we need to see if the statements written as fact are indeed true, for example: "Moms who simply can't let go are oddly enough the ones who complain of DIL issues.  Did someone just say irony?" In some cases perhaps, but in many cases it's not. I know in my case this isn't the issue; it's actually DIL's FOO that can't let go and they've created a situation that allows DIL to disrespect us.
Pen you are so right. This can be the case
The reason I am here is because my FDIL's mother is the problem and having had a very interferring MIL I vowed to never be one but was dragged into a family argument.
I read her, believe me. I think my FDIL's mother is a very jealous women and together FDIL and mother are 2 dangerous women.
I am prepared. Remember God can handle them better than I can.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: miss_priss on July 21, 2010, 07:24:26 AM
Pen - you are definitely right.  Not all situations are the same, and sometimes sons/daughters do pick truly "bad apples."  Sometimes the MIL is NOT the issue.  Sometimes the DIL is the issue.  Sometimes the DIL is not the issue, but her parents are.  Sometimes it just simply the environment in which the relationships are bred.  Sometimes.....we could go on and on. 

But I think Faith really hit the nail on the head, "fear of abondonment."  MILs are not the only ones who feel that way, certainly.  It affects all parties, and unfortunately leaves usually one person in the middle.  Pen - I 've read your post, and I think your DIL is facing that very thing...fear of abandonment (or something very close), and this could be why she has responded to you in the ways she has.  Maybe she is jealous of the relationship you have with your son, and she wants to destroy that.  Maybe she feels cornered because you make her look bad by being the better person.  Maybe she feels like her husband hasn't fully "left" the nest.  Who knows why people do the things they do, but it's sad that some people simply don't know how to channel that fear and overcome it so that it doesn't ruin the lives of others.  They're the ones who need help dear, not you.  But what can you do, besides pray that God have his will.  None of us know his reasons for the situations we go through, but we are required to have faith in God that he knows what he's doing and why, and trust that he will not leave us, even at our darkest hour, so hang in there. 

But you know, I think I said it before...I could have totally been your DIL.  I knew that DH and his mother were close even when we were dating, but I had NO CLUE that he was hiding just how close they were.  He was giving her money, paying for her cell phone plan every month, paying her car insurance, and sending her very lavish gifts (a 52-inch flatscreen TV for one!), and funding her beach vacations several times a year.  All of this he kept from me, and now he admits that he hid it from me because deep down he knew what a "mama's boy" he would look like if he told me the truth about their relationship.  But he says he also knew that if he tried to stop the "money-funnel" to her, she would FLIP OUT.  So he just kept doing it and kept it from me.  It caused a lot of resentment, especially when it came time to start planning our wedding.  I knew how much his job paid him.  I knew what bills he had, how much it took to pay them.  We had discussed all this when we discussed our "couple" financials and how we would combine our incomes and bills once we were married.  But when we started needing to pay for things for our wedding, he was broke.  Flat broke.  There were times I even had to pay his mortgage for him, even before we lived there together, because he was dry.  When I put two-and-two together that his mother was retired and on a fixed income, yet she was taking several lengthy beach vacations every year, then she suddenly got this new television...but she always complained of being broke, I figured out what was going on.  I confronted him about it, and intially he lied to me.  He was ashamed that he had let himself go broke supporting her lavish lifestyle.  I was FURIOUS.  It really began to get ugly when we got married, and he suddenly couldn't just send her $1000 without talking to me first, because it was my earnings, my income, my savings now too.  And I contributed just as much as he did, actually more.  Her "secondary income" suddenly just stopped....and then, SHE was furious!  Suddenly, I was "ruining her relationship" with her son, when in fact, I was just ruining the lifestyle she was used to.  Her narcissistic and passive aggressive personality really started to show its ugly head, and we ALL saw her true colors.  It was very hard for him not to just give in to her tantrums, just to calm her down, but later on in therapy we resolved that his "pacifying" her was exactly what created that monster, and that it's a temporary solution to a very long-term problem. 

Now to my point:  I, the DIL, felt abandoned.  I felt like his mother was getting the life he'd promised to me.  I felt like his loyalty was to HER, even though his vows were spoken to me and to God.  So I hastily started acting towards her similarly to how your DIL acts towards you.  I made it as uncomfortable as possible for her when she and his father would move into our home for weeks on end.  I was downright nasty to them both.  I was harboring hatred in my heart towards her, so much that it really began to consume me.  It was wrong.  I knew it was wrong, but I felt so "provoked" by her and that's how I justified it.  How can a Christian, like I thought I was, be so overcome with hatred?  I felt possessed, consumed, and CRAZY!!!  And that's when we sought counseling with our pastor.  It was there that we peeled back the layers of animosity, and got down to the real "bones" of our problems.  It was ALL our faults:  MIL's for not allowing her son to emotionally leave the nest, DH's for not "cleaving," and mine too, for reacting to her (and him) out of hatred.  We had couples counseling, but I went to pastoral counseling alone as well, just to work through the resentment I had towards them both.  In the long run, that's what saved our marriage.

Unfortunately, it didn't save the realtionship between DH and his mother, nor did it improve my own relationship with her.  We gave it a try, we invited her to phone counseling with us (she lives several hours away), when she was down visiting other relatives, we made contact with her to try to talk it out, but she couldn't do so without a screaming/cursing fit and tantrum, or her throwing wild accusations towards me.  DH eventually just had to cut her off in order to protect his family.

Ok, I'm wrapping up here, I promise!  :) 

The real root of our problem we determined was the way WE dealt with the lack of his parents' support of our marriage.  It was easy to realize that his mother was throwing us off balance, the hard part was to realize how to deal with it.  We desperately wanted his parents' approval and support, but when we didn't get it we reacted badly out of eagerness to gain the approval.  In the long run, we couldn't force them to approve and there was nothing we could do to change that except pray for God's will in her life and in ours.     
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: cremebrulee on July 21, 2010, 08:54:21 AM
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If you don't believe in God, the Bible, or that the Word of God should guide your life....read this post at your own risk.  If it offends you, you were warned not to read it.  If it kicks you in the heart...I pray God will guide you in your struggle.
   

I think we're a group of ladies here with diverse beliefs here,...that being said, you bring a lot of good points to the table, however, anyone, can take the Bible and God's word and bend it to they're very own issues....plus, your God may not be my God...can you see the broarder view of that?  We all have to believe in something more powerful then ourselves....it's human nature and our way of wanting to to explain or rationize so many questions we have, like birth and death....but it is also about allowance, and being at peace with ourselves. 

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Confronting a difficult MIL is a lot easier said than done.  Ok, scratch that.  Confronting her in a way *that won't leave your husband resenting you* is easier said than done.  But here's an idea for DILs...it's not your place to do so.  It's your husband's. 


This one I believe  is the best for discussion...confronting mil...and if your trying to confront her in a way, that won't get your husband upset, and that is your only concern, then you are not really concerned with resolving a problem with her...only concerned for your own well being in your relationship...which is ok, however, it's not the way one should look at this type of problem...and I disagree that it's your husband's problem...its a problem that involves three people, including you...this is 2010, and realistically, it should be discussed with all 3 present...not a confrontation, but a sincere discussion as to how each one should take ownership and change the relationship to a positive one... 

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Some women have such a firm grasp on their sons that it's near impossible for them to ever stand on their own, I've seen this in other relationships besides my own.  Moms who simply can't let go are oddly enough the ones who complain of DIL issues.  Did someone just say irony?
 

While I do agree with you on this, your wrong in stating this in general and here's why...not every single MIL/DIL relationship is the same, and the problems do not always exist b/c a mother in law can't let go of her son...there are in fact, some very difficult dil's who are very immature, owns a huge lack of confidence, some are narcissistic and fear the love they're husbands have for they're mothers.  I've witnessed many mature DIL/MIL relationships where everyone gets along...and it takes maturity along with confidence and understanding....but yes, there are MIL's that cannot let go...but we're not all like that...I promise...LOL

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My husband and I tried all kinds of therapy, after 2 years of his mother sabotaging our relationship with lies, incomplete truths, and passive aggressive and narcississtic behavior.  We tried couples counseling, support groups for loved ones of people with personality disorders, and finally counseling with our pastor. 


I'm glad you both kept trying...however, your MIL really really needed to be there, did you invite her to come?  Did she refuse?  If she refused, then I must agree with all you think and feel about her...

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Accepting that a son should "leave his mother and cleave unto his wife" (Genesis 2:24), was THE single hardest thing my husband ever did. 


Yes, it is difficult for some son's...why, b/c they feel like they are put in a position in which they have to choose, and when you do that to any human beings, well, it's just so wrong!  No one should ever do that to another human being....sad...and while I agree that a son should leave his family and cling to his wife....that doesn't mean that his wife possesses him now, nor does it mean, that they should always go to where his wife wants to go, when it comes to holidays and family outings....a wife also has a responsiblity to her husband's family, to his peace and happiness, and should allow...and again, as every situation is different....a wife should decide what is fair, instead of knowing that her husband is going to go where she wants to go, even if it means, not interacting with his own family.  Jealousy and the inability to allow others, to compromise and understand the needs of others as well as our own is a very important part of life's teachings...

and please understand, that I'm discussing this issue with you from my perspectives...I know how you feel now, however, when you reach your 50's, 60's and have son's of your own, your going to hope and pray, your son marry's someone who is mature, and realizes he needs a relationship with his family as well as hers...she will encourage him to spend quality time with him...she will encourage him to take his mom out to dinner once in a while....by himself...there are times yes, when his wife will go along, however, a son still needs quality time once in a while with his mother...and I say this, also, having friends and family members who realize, and are mature enough to encourage they're husbands to do this....

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His mother on the other hand, admittedly won't accept that she's supposed to let her son go, that its the natural order of things that she should let him make his own decisions, let him make his own mistakes, let him grow up, let him create his own family and future...and she certainly doesn't agree that her not doing so has caused problems in her relationship with her son. 


Again, I totally agree with this...we as MIL's owe it to our son's to let them go, allow them to make they're own mistakes...that is the only way our son's will learn, that is the only way we learned...however...again...I believe the natural order here would be compromise and understanding...

I also want to say, that I've been dealing with this for almost 13 years, and it has become a huge part of my life....I was in pain for 13 years...I lost my sense of humor, my personal identity...the pain was there inside of me all the time...so, now that things have changed, I can't change back so quickly, meaning, I have still not been able to gain that light back, that innocence and trust...and hope that it changes however, I don't know that it ever will...these are life changing events that effect people for a long time...and I strongly believe, when you harm the karma of someone else, you change they're life path....which stagnates they're own personal journey....and they take turns along the way they were not supposed to take....which will also come back to huant those that did the hurting....and I don't wish that on any human being...

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Sadly, my MIL told me once that her cruelty and admonishment towards me were a "right to passage" of sorts.  Her MIL was brutal towards her, even hit her once, so she felt it her duty to pass on the tradition and "break me in right."  The relationship between my DH and his mother, and also between "us" and her, got especially rocky when DH told her he was "respectfully leaving" her in order to cleave unto his wife.  You should have seen the rage....I think Satan himself was controlling her words and actions after that.  And because his mother couldn't, at the very least, keep her thoughts to herself, my husband and I made the decision to "leave" her behind.  We now have no contact with her whatsoever, we don't visit, we don't invite her to visit, we don't accept her poisonous letters to our daughter.  MILs - take a lesson, I hope none of you ever have to know what that feels like.  I myself hope that I learned enough from her mistakes to be a better MIL someday. 
   

I am so so sorry your life experience with your MIL will be one of such negativity...it's sad when a mother in law or daughter in law, is like what you have described above.  It's not just about her, it's about all of you and your children loosing out on so much.  So very much.

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In the end...MILs, its OKAY that you don't like your DIL.  Its ok that you don't agree with the path your son is headed down with that "girl" you don't like.  But always remember, that your son chose her.  You didn't, nor did you have the right to.  Adult sons (and daughters) will "cleave" unto their partners.  And while the parent-child relationship *SHOULD* always be close, respectful, and sacred; the marriage ("become one flesh") is, should, and will be the absolute most important and intimate relationship...even above the parent-child relationship. 


In this statement...I can feel your pain and anger and the damage your mil has caused, but please remember, not all MIL's are like this...I honestly have a girlfriend, no 2 girlfriends who have and had a DIL and DIL's that are so close to her....the DIL's sometimes actually have this thing going between them, where each of them say, they are her favorite...it's kind of interesting to me, but they love her as much as they're mothers.  Also, my other girlfriends DIL was like this....so, there are many good stories out there, however, the ones who have good relationships with they're inlaws are not on the internet looking for support....but there are wonderful stories out there and many more then not...

I did not get along with my DIL for many years....and I realized the issues at hand...but instead of understanding, fought it....and caused problems...my son and I used to be very close....and all I ever wanted was a DIL, couldn't wait...however, I also did not perceive at that time, there had to be boundaries...and believe me, I am not an interferring MIL, nor one who needs to have my son be around me all the time, as a matter of fact, I want a call from him or anyone who is coming over to visit...I'm not into that, just stopping by stuff, for many reasons, I could have company, I could be sleeping, or simply put, I need my own down quiet "me" time, since I work full time.   What I am is a loving giving mother who could not wait to have him marry and have a daughter.  It is only thru my experiences and reading online, that some DIL's take offense to that...however, to me, it has always been the highest of honors to have my MIL accept me and love me as much as her son...and she did...thank God, even though we had our problems....however, I grew up and being a mother of a son myself, now realize what she was doing and why...and it was all good and out of love and concern.  But there were times she drove me nuts...and there were also times I felt it was important that my husband and her spend quality time together without me, just like I spent quality time with her on my own without my husband there.  It all works out.

So, the problems that existed between us were really horrible, sad and very bad.  It literally changed my life...there was though a lot for me to learn in the experience...life is not always fair, and isn't nearly the way we plan it or see it to be.  From a mother's point of view, I couldn't see my DIL's side, but from a DIL's point of view I could....and I'm thankful to have been both b/c in the end it worked out.  They came to visit for a few days and I couldn't have asked for more...and it made me happy to see them beaming from ear to ear in happiness...that is all a mother wants for her son...believe me...which is normal...and also part of the nature of life...

My son is working over seas, home on leave...and since my DIL and I have resolved our differences, they came to visit me for the first time in almost 4 years....and it was that long that I didn't see my grand child as well...it was more painful then you can imagine.  A life changing event....and it's so sad, that people cannot understand, it's not about just them, but effects so many people.  Our thoughts, our words, and actions effect so many many others. 

God doesn't make decissions for us....He gives us the gift of life, a set of rules to guide our lives by,  allows us to make our own decissions and choices...what is written in the Bible isn't written in stone, in other words, it's not cut and dry, black and white...there is much room in those words to translate compromise...understanding and allowance....so, while your dealing with a very stubborn and immature MIL, please remember, there are mothers here in this website whose DIL's have cause the same type of problems for them as you have been having....it's not only isolated to bad MIL's....there are really bad DIL's out there, thank God one of them isn't mine....I know now, she was hurting just as much as me, if not more....as I do believe you are to....

So, while I feel you've made the right decission....I also feel the pain in your words...the frustration and doubts, not to mention the pain of rejection...we as human beings all want to be liked...that's all...so, I know your dealing with this in the best possible way you can....and I hope the future brings for you, a great turn around in your MIL....however, if she doesn't change, then please know, that if you have son's and they grow up to marry, you to, are going to have to let them go...but as a mother, you should also have a right to share things with your son...share some holidays...family gatherings...it's so importnat to have balance...

Hugs and love
Creme
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: catchingup on July 21, 2010, 08:58:33 AM
 Well religion is a very controversial subject and I hope Luise does not mind that it was discussed here.
May we from our own human experiance always be able to comfort and help others without sounding like bible punches.
When Maggie8 posted here for the first time and opened her post with"Hello my name is Annie"
I just felt this incredible love for her. I think for some reason or other she is very special and I often think of her and pray for her and her son.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: Alicev on July 21, 2010, 09:08:24 AM
Fear of abandonment can be so overwhelming and can run our lives to the point that we start to feel like we are going crazy. I am sure many of us have had situations in the past where we thought we would not make it, we could not take it any longer (whatever that "it" was). Today we look back and see that we did survive.

I think people often underestimate their own powers and their own strength.  I see fear of abandonment as closely related to the trust in our ability to take care of ourselves in tough times. We can take good care of ourselves.

Starting to trust ourselves and Higher Power (God, as we understand him to be) coupled with letting go of self doubt are the first steps toward dealing with fear of abandonment.
 
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: cremebrulee on July 21, 2010, 09:11:17 AM

Quote
Dear Faith,
Your words hit me like a ton of bricks.  It is a fear of abandonment with me.  Holding on with my fingernails to a situation where I'm criticized at every turn, not openly but you can just feel it.  Not good for me and hard for my son.  But at the heart of the story is a fear of abandonment.

Hi Faith
Do you mean a fear of abandonment from your husband, or fear of rejection?  I guess rejection and abandonment could describe rejection from a family member you so wish to get along with?

Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: cremebrulee on July 21, 2010, 09:14:07 AM
Quote
Faith
Fear of abandonment can be so overwhelming and can run our lives to the point that we start to feel like we are going crazy. I am sure many of us have had situations in the past where we thought we would not make it, we could not take it any longer (whatever that "it" was). Today we look back and see that we did survive.

I think people often underestimate their own powers and their own strength.  I see fear of abandonment as closely related to the trust in our ability to take care of ourselves in tough times. We can take good care of ourselves.


Starting to trust ourselves and Higher Power (God, as we understand him to be) coupled with letting go of self doubt are the first steps toward dealing with fear of abandonment.
[/quote]

Some very wise and aware statements....Faith...one of the things I realized and was the most damaging, was, I distrusted myself....this whole thing made me question my own values....asking myself over and over again..."Was I imagining some of this?"  It made me loose self confidence and self respect....it was very embarrassing for me, to say the least....

Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: cremebrulee on July 21, 2010, 09:28:17 AM
Fear of abandonment can be so overwhelming and can run our lives to the point that we start to feel like we are going crazy. I am sure many of us have had situations in the past where we thought we would not make it, we could not take it any longer (whatever that "it" was). Today we look back and see that we did survive.

I think people often underestimate their own powers and their own strength.  I see fear of abandonment as closely related to the trust in our ability to take care of ourselves in tough times. We can take good care of ourselves.

Starting to trust ourselves and Higher Power (God, as we understand him to be) coupled with letting go of self doubt are the first steps toward dealing with fear of abandonment.

In my own experiences, it wasn't about strength to endure, it was doubting my own personal identity....doubting that inner voice....that self confidence....it just destroys all of that....

Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: miss_priss on July 21, 2010, 10:03:57 AM
Hi Creme - I thank you first for disecting my post.  You pointed out "implied" messages that I didn't realize I had...erm, implied.

Quote
This one I believe  is the best for discussion...confronting mil...and if your trying to confront her in a way, that won't get your husband upset, and that is your only concern, then you are not really concerned with resolving a problem with her...only concerned for your own well being in your relationship...which is ok, however, it's not the way one should look at this type of problem...and I disagree that it's your husband's problem...its a problem that involves three people, including you...this is 2010, and realistically, it should be discussed with all 3 present...not a confrontation, but a sincere discussion as to how each one should take ownership and change the relationship to a positive one... 


I guess I didn't post how many times we had, as a couple, tried to sit down with and talk with her.  We invited her into our home to talk (she immediately got defensive and sarcastic and accused us of "ganging up" on her, it didn't turn out well), we invited her to phone counseling with a family therapist (she "couldn't take the call, she was on the phone with a friend who was having a crisis....TWICE), on a weekend she was down visiting friends nearby, we invited her to counseling with our pastor (she told us "going to church doesn't make you any more of a christian than standing in your garage makes you a car," her words, not mine).  She's told us on several occasions that she's the one who's hurt, and we're going to have to come to her to beg her forgiveness.  She stands by "honor thy father and mother" as if it's the only and final verse in the Bible, and continuously throws it at us.  She's cursed us, screamed at us, and thrown our own things at us in our own home.  We can't figure out why she doesn't want to fix this, but we accept that we tried all we could, and now we have discarded that poison from our life and moved on without her.

Quote
In this statement...I can feel your pain and anger and the damage your mil has caused, but please remember, not all MIL's are like this...I honestly have a girlfriend, no 2 girlfriends who have and had a DIL and DIL's that are so close to her....the DIL's sometimes actually have this thing going between them, where each of them say, they are her favorite...it's kind of interesting to me, but they love her as much as they're mothers.  Also, my other girlfriends DIL was like this....so, there are many good stories out there, however, the ones who have good relationships with they're inlaws are not on the internet looking for support....but there are wonderful stories out there and many more then not...
I agree, not all MIL's are like mine (thank goodness!!!!).  To be honest, this is my 2nd marriage.  My first marriage occured when I was VERY young (18), and quickly ended in divorce (though we remained great friends).  However, my xMIL....WONDERFUL lady!  Still now, even 11 years after her son and I divorced, I still hear from her.  She still tells me she loves me and misses me.  I've even confided in her about my current MIL, asking for her point of view from a mother's standpoint.  Through two marriages and 8 years of dating in the middle, I've never had this problem.  I've always been accepted.  I've always loved the mothers, even adored some of them!  Now, if I could only trade in my current MIL for my previous one, without changing hubbys....LOL.  That's just not how it works.  :)

   
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: cremebrulee on July 21, 2010, 10:11:01 AM
Hi
well then, you've done all you can, and I'm very sorry she's so stubborn and wants her way....your all missing out on so much due to her stubborness....you should refer her to this website.....

The one thing about sitting down and discussing it, is just that....you can't take personal attack for one's feelings as your MIL has...it's her only trump card, I guess she doesn't want to change or change in her relationships....it's her way or the highway which is so sad and stagnates not only her, but everyone around her....

Hugs
Creme
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: barelythere on July 21, 2010, 10:32:12 AM
Fear of abandonment can be so overwhelming and can run our lives to the point that we start to feel like we are going crazy. I am sure many of us have had situations in the past where we thought we would not make it, we could not take it any longer (whatever that "it" was). Today we look back and see that we did survive.

I think people often underestimate their own powers and their own strength.  I see fear of abandonment as closely related to the trust in our ability to take care of ourselves in tough times. We can take good care of ourselves.

Starting to trust ourselves and Higher Power (God, as we understand him to be) coupled with letting go of self doubt are the first steps toward dealing with fear of abandonment.

Thank you, Faith, you have such a great way of making someone understand what is going on. Yes, fear of being kicked out of a family can make you feel like you are losing your mind. You feel it can't be happening and then the terrible what did I do's?  Those questions never end and make you not trust yourself at all.  When all the while, it could be nothing more than systematic destruction of your intentions by someone who is either jealous of your position or just plain wants you out. Still, it's an embarrassing and humiliating trauma that seems to be inflicted on Mothers of sons.  DILS, I'm sure suffer too.   
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: luise.volta on July 21, 2010, 10:53:47 AM
I think this topic is a very strong and useful one. I would just caution, as mentioned already, that we are extremely diverse. We have Christians, Jews, people from Eastern faiths that I am pretty unfamiliar with, atheists and agnostics...to name a few. For that reason, it works best to state our issues and solutions without specific reference to the source of our beliefs. When we do that, no one feels excluded. We often find the same premise in many different faiths and can work together form that basic commonality. Sending love... 
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: catchingup on July 21, 2010, 11:22:52 AM
Very true Luise. Beliefs as controversial as Mother-in-laws and daughter -in-laws ;D
Maybe we should ban MIL and DIL here.(Jokes) ;)
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: luise.volta on July 21, 2010, 12:11:48 PM
I'm not banning...I guess what I'm asking for is respect. It seems to me that not going into specifics works better than initially warning members of other faiths off. It's a very valuable topic and most wouldn't want to miss it. Sending love...
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: Alicev on July 21, 2010, 02:34:49 PM
Cremebrulee -

Quote
Hi Faith
Do you mean a fear of abandonment from your husband, or fear of rejection?  I guess rejection and abandonment could describe rejection from a family member you so wish to get along with?

I commented on miss_priss' MIL's harsh reaction to cutting off the communication.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: Pooh on July 22, 2010, 09:52:59 AM
I love reading everyone's viewpoints. 

My only comment (cause you know I can't keep my mouth shut...Lol)

I wish we could fix all our problems, MIL and DIL by simply changing the title of the thread to:

Leave & Cleave AND Honor thy Mother(-in-law).   ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: luise.volta on July 22, 2010, 10:00:13 AM
That's the key word, isn't it? Honor...or maybe respect. And it's so hard when it isn't earned. I always think respect  should be earned...not just be a "given." Honor Thy MIL and DIL! Yes! Sending love...
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: MLW07 on July 22, 2010, 10:07:05 AM
Luise I totally agree; respect is earned.  My in-laws tried to pull this B.S. on my DH.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: catchingup on July 22, 2010, 10:33:19 AM
I have seen it a number of times on here"Passive aggressive personality" Does that mean that someone passively manipulates another

Sometimes I feel like I wish my MIL was still around so that I could spit everything out to her.
Miss_priss please dont use the word forgive.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: cremebrulee on July 22, 2010, 10:43:07 AM
lets also try and remember, that sometimes no one did anything wrong....sometimes, two people are just not a good fit and/or there is a personality conflict...not everyone can like each other...however, to respect each other is paramount....in a relationship....

Forgiveness is also the key...once foregiveness takes over, nothing else seems to matter....it seems to calm the spirit and take over as food for the body and soul....there is nothing more positive and peaceful...

QUOTE: Generally, forgiveness is a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. The act that hurt or offended you may always remain a part of your life, but forgiveness can lessen its grip on you and help you focus on other, positive parts of your life. Forgiveness can even lead to feelings of understanding, empathy and compassion for the one who hurt you.

Forgiveness doesn't mean that you deny the other person's responsibility for hurting you, and it doesn't minimize or justify the wrong. You can forgive the person without excusing the act. Forgiveness brings a kind of peace that helps you go on with life.

What are the benefits of forgiving someone?
Letting go of grudges and bitterness makes way for compassion, kindness and peace. Forgiveness can lead to so many positive things in life
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: catchingup on July 22, 2010, 10:48:16 AM
We command respect not demand respect and that is the differance.
What is passive aggressive personality?
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: miss_priss on July 22, 2010, 12:48:40 PM
Forgive....erm, pardon me...I've not kept up with this thread today until now (work work work!).  I was asked not to use the word "forgive?"  Catchingup, can you please explain?  I think forgiveness is key, for all relationships, because all of us are bound to make mistakes from time to time.  Without forgiveness, there would be no relationships between anyone, so I don't understand.

And to answer your question Catchingup, about Passive Aggressive Personality Disorder - I found a great website that explains it a lot better than I ever could.  http://www.peaceandhealing.com/personality/passive.asp  (http://www.peaceandhealing.com/personality/passive.asp).  In short, it's intentional actions (or lack of action) that APPEARS to the general public as harmless "forgetfulness" or ignorance, but in fact is an act of malice targeted at one or more persons. 

Here's an example that might help explain it:  In the very early stages of dating my DH, I helped MIL with planning her family reunion (I'm an event planner in my spare time).  Throughout the entire planning process, SHE was handling the catering, she watned to handle it because her best friend is a caterer.  We discussed it by phone and in person on several occasions, that SHE had contacted the caterer, we were havingblah blah blah foods.  She was so excited every time we talked about it, even told me what a great deal she was getting on the food, and the service was free because it was her friend.  On the day of the reunion, guess what....NO CATERER.  NO FOOD.  ANGRY MIL.  She immediately went on a tirade, in front of 100+ of her family members, and accused ME of not contacting the caterer on purpose to ruin her day.  She cried.  She cursed.  She screamed "YOU were the planner, it was YOUR job!  I should have never trusted you to handle something this precious to me!"  She threw me out of the reception hall, I was humiliated.  And everyone in her family gave her sympathy.  SHE was the victim.  I had ruined her day.  But I didn't!  When I told DH about what she'd done and all of the conversations I'd had with her about the catering, he chalked it up to "she just forgot" and "she must have just misunderstood, she'd never do anything like that on purpose." 

This wasn't the only time she "created" dramatic scenes of passive aggressiveness herself in order to giver herself and others reasons to dislike me.  When DH and I talked about all of this with our first couples therapist, he suggested we read up on Passive Aggressive behavior and how to stop it in its tracks.  I quickly learned to NEVER have even a phone conversation without DH being present. Unfortunately, people with Passive Aggressive personality disorder rarely get help for it....because they can always make it look like its someone else who's doing it (it's not THEIR problem, it's someone else's), so you have to learn how to recognize it and basically call them out on it. 

By reading a lot of the posts, it appears that a lot of people, MILs and DILs alike suffer from this.     
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: Alicev on July 22, 2010, 01:54:43 PM
Passive-aggressive personality:

Ambiguity or speaking cryptically: a means of engendering a feeling of insecurity in others
Chronically being late and forgetting things: another way to exert control or to punish.
Fear of competition
Fear of dependency
Fear of intimacy as a means to act out anger: The passive aggressive often cannot trust. Because of this, they guard themselves against becoming intimately attached to someone.
Making chaotic situations
Making excuses for non-performance in work teams
Obstructionism
Procrastination
Sulking
Victimization response: instead of recognizing one's own weaknesses, tendency to blame others for own failures.

This list is taken from Wikipedia.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: barelythere on July 22, 2010, 02:15:44 PM
Once again, Faith, well put.  This kind of person drives others crazy. The intentional obstructionism is particularly deadly.  Finding someone/anyone to blame for their mistakes is tiresome too.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: cremebrulee on July 23, 2010, 03:56:40 AM
Forgive....erm, pardon me...I've not kept up with this thread today until now (work work work!).  I was asked not to use the word "forgive?"  Catchingup, can you please explain?  I think forgiveness is key, for all relationships, because all of us are bound to make mistakes from time to time.  Without forgiveness, there would be no relationships between anyone, so I don't understand.

And to answer your question Catchingup, about Passive Aggressive Personality Disorder - I found a great website that explains it a lot better than I ever could.  http://www.peaceandhealing.com/personality/passive.asp  (http://www.peaceandhealing.com/personality/passive.asp).  In short, it's intentional actions (or lack of action) that APPEARS to the general public as harmless "forgetfulness" or ignorance, but in fact is an act of malice targeted at one or more persons. 

Here's an example that might help explain it:  In the very early stages of dating my DH, I helped MIL with planning her family reunion (I'm an event planner in my spare time).  Throughout the entire planning process, SHE was handling the catering, she watned to handle it because her best friend is a caterer.  We discussed it by phone and in person on several occasions, that SHE had contacted the caterer, we were havingblah blah blah foods.  She was so excited every time we talked about it, even told me what a great deal she was getting on the food, and the service was free because it was her friend.  On the day of the reunion, guess what....NO CATERER.  NO FOOD.  ANGRY MIL.  She immediately went on a tirade, in front of 100+ of her family members, and accused ME of not contacting the caterer on purpose to ruin her day.  She cried.  She cursed.  She screamed "YOU were the planner, it was YOUR job!  I should have never trusted you to handle something this precious to me!"  She threw me out of the reception hall, I was humiliated.  And everyone in her family gave her sympathy.  SHE was the victim.  I had ruined her day.  But I didn't!  When I told DH about what she'd done and all of the conversations I'd had with her about the catering, he chalked it up to "she just forgot" and "she must have just misunderstood, she'd never do anything like that on purpose." 

This wasn't the only time she "created" dramatic scenes of passive aggressiveness herself in order to giver herself and others reasons to dislike me.  When DH and I talked about all of this with our first couples therapist, he suggested we read up on Passive Aggressive behavior and how to stop it in its tracks.  I quickly learned to NEVER have even a phone conversation without DH being present. Unfortunately, people with Passive Aggressive personality disorder rarely get help for it....because they can always make it look like its someone else who's doing it (it's not THEIR problem, it's someone else's), so you have to learn how to recognize it and basically call them out on it. 

By reading a lot of the posts, it appears that a lot of people, MILs and DILs alike suffer from this.     

Miss Priss
I'm curious and was thinking while reading this post of yours...has your husband inherited any of these issues due to be raised by this woman.  I don't see how he couldn't, however, I'm so so glad you went to counseling and he went along...wish your MIL would go...it would help her a lot with handling other relationships.

Yanno, Miss Priss, it's not you...it's not really personal...if you could look at it this way....from what I've read, it would have been anyone who married your husband...if you had not married him, the lady who did, would be experiencing the very same problems with her...can you think of it that way...would that help some?  I know the pain of rejection...as a lot of ladies here do, and it hurts terrible...it changes your life when a family member or close friend rejects you...however, it's not you...it's her....

hugs
Creme
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: Postscript on July 23, 2010, 04:55:34 AM
Yanno, Miss Priss, it's not you...it's not really personal...if you could look at it this way....from what I've read, it would have been anyone who married your husband...if you had not married him, the lady who did, would be experiencing the very same problems with her...can you think of it that way...would that help some? 

Creme my dh says pretty much what you said about Mil would have disliked any woman he married.  It's proven over the way she treats/ed my bils wives and gf's and sils fiance.  But it's cold comfort to be honest :(
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: cremebrulee on July 23, 2010, 05:08:37 AM
Yanno, Miss Priss, it's not you...it's not really personal...if you could look at it this way....from what I've read, it would have been anyone who married your husband...if you had not married him, the lady who did, would be experiencing the very same problems with her...can you think of it that way...would that help some? 

Creme my dh says pretty much what you said about Mil would have disliked any woman he married.  It's proven over the way she treats/ed my bils wives and gf's and sils fiance.  But it's cold comfort to be honest :(

It may very well be cold comfort...I've been there and I know your pain...however, if you could change your attitude to believe this and realize, "ok, this is the way she is...it's not me, it's her....and she is the one missing out", perhaps it would be an exercise you could try, everytime it enters your mind.

we can't control other people...but we do have a choice, we can control how "we" think and feel.  People used to ask me, when I was having problems with my son and DIL, how I endured it....and I said, I do exerciseds and talk to myself, talking myself out of being a victim, and into the secure person I was...it's not easy...and it takes much effort and perciverance, and it doesn't take the pain away...what it does is, reassured me, that it wasn't me...that I wasn't a bad person, that I was trying...trying so hard to understand her reasons for hating me....and I also realized, that not everyone can like me....and that's ok...I wouldn't allow the bad stuff to creep in, and I kept myself busy, busy, busy....reading, watching movies...getting involved with neighbors, family and friends, and some small travel...what I did was create things for myself to look forward to...and when youstart ignoring the situation...some how, and I don't know how, the other person causing you this grief, realizes she is not getting to you...she is not breaking you down....you are not allowing her to break you down.

I also stopped rewinding....you know, where you take a negative happening, and rewind it to death...trying to come up with answers....sometimes throughout our walk in life, there are just no answers...and people don't do things for one reason but many....so, it was futile for me to rewind.  I know the sleepless nights, the feeling in your heart and gut, like someone ripped it out...I know the loss of innocence and spontanious happiness, however, I kept telling myself, there has to be something in this for me to learn.  We tend to obsess over these things and it causes us much destruction...don't let it...live and be happy....don't allow this person to bring you down...it's her, not you...and no matter what, fight for who you are, not regret what is...be happy with you, look for the many things you do have which make you happy...and don't wallow in the negative...it's mind over matter and you can do it...you can.

See, these people are miserable...very negative people, and they want everyone else to be to....so, that is why they cause havoc in not only they're lives, but everyone elses, they think and really believe, that, that is life and happiness....

Also, there is something else that may help you understand her....you don't have to love her, or even like her, however, if you can understand why she does the things she does, it may help eliviate some of the pain and self persecution...and no matter how tough we are, to know that our MIL's/DIL's won't accept us, hurts beyond words...
anyway, sometimes, woman, unfortunately, base they're whole purpose in life around they're children....they do everything for them, putting aside they're own lives...which is ok, as long as it's done within reason, however, like everything else...they're are some mothers who base they're entire life, on they're children, and actually depend on them for they're own happiness....and in the process of doing for them, that gives them purpose....when that purpose is taken away....they really get confused...alll of a sudden, they're whole being has been turned upside down and they blame you for it....they can't understand the concept, that what is happening is perfectly normal...and the way of life...and let go, they don't look at this time in they're lives as something wonderful, that now they can do for themselves...they've done for they're kids for so long, that it's been conditioned into them....it's habit, purpose, and they're life...now, take that away and they feel like they are left with nothing...it still doesn't justify they're actions and treatmeant of you....but by understanding that, may lighten your load a bit...I dunno?

What I've written may not be comforting to you...however, it helped me.  We cannot base our happiness on other people...we have to find our own and stay there in that comfort zone. 
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: miss_priss on July 23, 2010, 07:49:22 AM
Actually Creme - I find your words very comforting.  I was doing exactly what you said for a long time, "rewinding it to death" trying to figure it out and find answers.  But in the end, I finally realized that it was her, not me.  Especially after DH told me how his mother treated everyone he ever dated equally as horrible.  In the end, it wouldn't have mattered if DH had married the Pope himself, it would never be good enough for her. 

Our pastor also helped us realize that there are "busy-body" people in this world, people whom the evil in their hearts drive them towards misery, and they want to take as many people with them as possible.  There's nothing we can do about these people except try to stay out of their paths of destruction.  When those people are your parents, that's a very hard thing to do...we've learned that much.  It's painful to realize that people very close to you are toxic to your life and other interpersonal relationships, and even more painful to shut them out of your life in order protect yourself and other loved ones.     
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: catchingup on July 23, 2010, 09:11:15 AM
I have seen it a number of times on here"Passive aggressive personality" Does that mean that someone passively manipulates another

Sometimes I feel like I wish my MIL was still around so that I could spit everything out to her.
Miss_priss please dont use the word forgive.
Oops!! did not mean to offend.
I had this all the time from Christians--just forgive. We must forgive but sometimes leaders in a church use that word far too often in counselling but dont get to the root of the problem.
Anyway it was sorted out eventually but sometimes I read things like passive aggressive personality and wonder if my MIL did not perhaps display this kind of personality.
Anyway whichever  personality it belongs to she was very manipulative and I was too young and naive to recognise these traits and wish I could have dealt with some of the things I did not deal with.--Hope that makes sense.
Nothing personal.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: miss_priss on July 23, 2010, 12:47:02 PM
I totally agree catchingup - in the years I've spent in church (different ones), I too have heard the word "forgive" be thrown out so much, as if it's such an easy and commonplace thing to do! 

I try to remember the Lord's prayer "forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us."  It reminds me that God can and will forgive me, as much as I forgive others.  He'll show me the same compassion I show to others.  It's an extremely hard thing to do though!  I know that's another context alluding to Christianity (and I've been warned not to be religion-specific)...so I guess we can also equate it to the ideology of "karma" - what goes around will come around.  I believe it applies to forgiveness and compassion too. 

Where I think too many people get confused is the difference between "forgive" and it's silent partner "forget."  (I believe) God gave us free will and also the ability to reason...therefore, we were predispositioned to protect ourselves, and protect our young, etc.  The ability to reason and feel emotional pain is what distinguishes right from wrong, and also how we respond to it.  So I do believe you can forgive a person, but not forget in order to protect yourself.  If we were meant to forget every painful thing that happened to us...we'd keep putting our hands on that hot stove even after we'd been burned!  But we don't, we learn that it hurts, and we don't do it again (not on purpose anyway! ;) )Our spirit works the same way, it learns what brings joy and also what hurts...or at least mine does!  :D I hope that makes sense?   

It's human nature to make mistakes, and also human nature to forgive those mistakes in order to maintain relationships.  But there comes that "line in the sand" where you just can't take it any more, your spirit has reached its healthy limit and goes into "protect" mode.  That point where someone else's insanity is leading to your OWN insanity, and I think it's somewhere around there were we stop "forgetting" in order to protect ourselves.  But we can still forgive that person, let go of the anger, and leave them to their own (or to God, if that's what you believe).  Again, I think it's probably the hardest when that person is a parent (or IL) or an adult child, or a sibling, or a spouse, because those are the people who are supposed to be the supporters in your life, those who are supposed to bring JOY, not pain. 

Anyway, that's just what I believe....it may not apply to all or even be helpful.     
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: luise.volta on July 23, 2010, 01:05:32 PM
I think there is a vast difference between forgiveness and trust. I can forgive when continued trust isn't warranted.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: miss_priss on July 23, 2010, 01:59:30 PM
Very well stated Luise.  :)
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: catchingup on July 23, 2010, 02:26:30 PM
Actually Creme - I find your words very comforting.  I was doing exactly what you said for a long time, "rewinding it to death" trying to figure it out and find answers.  But in the end, I finally realized that it was her, not me.  Especially after DH told me how his mother treated everyone he ever dated equally as horrible.  In the end, it wouldn't have mattered if DH had married the Pope himself, it would never be good enough for her. 

Our pastor also helped us realize that there are "busy-body" people in this world, people whom the evil in their hearts drive them towards misery, and they want to take as many people with them as possible.  There's nothing we can do about these people except try to stay out of their paths of destruction.  When those people are your parents, that's a very hard thing to do...we've learned that much.  It's painful to realize that people very close to you are toxic to your life and other interpersonal relationships, and even more painful to shut them out of your life in order protect yourself and other loved ones.     
Cremebrulee gives such good advice.
In all the time my MIL did all those nasty,slimy,awful things I never tried to keep her son away from her and I did not cut her out of my life and the grandchildrens lives completely but she did not have a normal family relationship with her GC because I was not prepared to allow her to see them unless I was present.
The reason for this is because of her sergeant major attitude.
My husband was brought up to stand up and say good evening sir to his Father. I have nothing against a child standing up when an adult enters a room but their own Father?and sir at that.

I think cremebrulee mentioned the possibility of your husband having certain traits that his mother has. This is not always the case but my husband did have a number of traits especially "Controlling"
traits.

If I am upset about something I say my say and that is it but my husband would give me the cold treatment and not speak to me even if I asked what was wrong. There were other things too like emotional abuse done very slyly and when he was confronted with it he would say"I was only joking" Bull.


I have been married for 37 years and it was after about 18years that I asked him to get out of my life as I was not prepared to live with him anymore that he started changing.I was serious and he knew it.

He still does things jokingly. I think he likes to think that I am doing something because he told me too.
I had a lot of tidying up to do---I sell online--and had brought a lot of stock into the house.
I got up early this morning and started tidying up.
He had to take my car in for a service and as he was leaving--while I was busy tidying up- he jokingly said "I expect this place to be spek and span  when I get back"

It presses a button in me.I am sure that is the way his mother spoke to him.
Guess what? I had no desire to carry on tidying up and it was just as untidy when he came back as when he left.
It puts a dampen on what ever I am doing. This is a trait that I will never accept in this man.I hate it with a passion.
His mother walked into my house one day--marched in like a sergeant major--and said"Oh house all tidy now"
It is a personality trait I do not understand and it does not seem to go way.He must try and give me any advise about my online selling business and I will react with something like"It is not for you to tell me how to run my business"
So what is wrong with me? What have I suffered to keep him at bay?

I think my marriage is more an understanding than a marriage.
We have  three lovely boys who have turned out well.I give him a lot of credit for that and I give myself the credit as well but the 2 of us were never suited.
I love him in a compassionate way. Strange thing to say.

This is how we live. He is on pension but we cannot live on his full pension but must re-invest so that his investments can grow or in 10 years time we will head for a financial problem.I have been in the antique business for 25years and sell online so I contribute to the household as much as he does.I find this annoying  simply because any extra's come out of my pocket.

One day I said to him when he neede money for something or other"What would you do if I died tomorrow" How would you pay these things.
Oh! he says "I suppose I will have to find a job"
Why cant he do that right now? I dont shop often but if I buy something for myself--like clothing I hide it from him.
Dependant but controlling.

I always got these feeling thathe wanted to deprive me of most things.
For instance I am not fond of fruit juices but I love Tomato juice. He dislikes it.It tends to be a bit more expensive than other fruit juices but if he did not want to buy something I asked him to buy he would just lie and say they did not have any.

Quite recently we were out for the day and I ordered a tomato juice at lunch and he suddenly went cold.Why would tomato juice upset him in this way? I have learned to live with it.Just ignore him.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: catchingup on July 23, 2010, 02:42:09 PM
I think there is a vast difference between forgiveness and trust. I can forgive when continued trust isn't warranted.
Luise I think the reason a post here bombs out sometimes is because we are logged out after an hour so if the hour is up and one tries to post it.it will come up with "You vcannot post here" because the person is not logged in anymore.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: Nana on July 23, 2010, 02:54:04 PM
Catchingup:

It was funny how I read with interest what you said about your husband's traits.  Like I was thinking on my hubby.  He does buy things he knows I like withouth me asking, even if he does not eat them.  But...when we go shopping (and it is very rare because he hates to go shopping) and I like a blouse or whatever and it is very expensive, he tells me it looks cheap or its not nice. even if he is not going to pay for it.  It makes me laugh.  He says this only after seeing the price tag.  If I go ahead and buy it, he doesnt say anything.  But when it comes to buying me a car, he goes all for it.  He even insist on me getting a new car.  Sometimes people are funny ha? 


Its intelligent how you are managing things in your relationship with him.  It is sometimes to hard to share your life with some people.   

Just sharing.
Love
Rosie
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: luise.volta on July 23, 2010, 03:01:58 PM
You don't get dropped after an hour as far as I know. You can stay logged in forever unless you log off your computer. I only get that message after I have rebooted. Has anyone else had that problem?
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: Postscript on July 23, 2010, 03:27:02 PM
Creme you are absolutely right, especially about the only person you can change is yourself.  I meant to a point, while the thought that it could be anyone she hated is a comfort, it's a cold one because there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.  That's why I removed myself from the situation really.  Self change.

It is however nice to know it's not me, it's her issue.

Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: neecee on July 24, 2010, 02:59:39 PM
This is my first dialogue on line.  My husband and I have recently experienced the "DIL from Hell" and our son is in her purse.  Really, we liked her!  Isn't that odd?  We thought she was so good for him.  We tried to maintain that position, but to no avail. 

THe day our new DIL got back from her honeymoon, we got the first poison pen email.  What a shock!  The new DIL cried and wrote poison pen emails and bullied and belittled and manipulated until, after literally months of asking them to just "give this time", she pinned us into a corner.  And that isn't easy.  We tried to keep things light and tried not be in a negative conversation.  We paid a family therapist to confirm our position of giving them time to adjust to each other without us hovering about.

We expected our son to support his wife...Geez, we raised him to be that way!  Anyway, now there is no relationship.  Thank heavens for the other kids or we would think we were going nuts.

I am a mother of adults.  My other kids are pretty happy, well adjusted and have their own lives.  We are busy, excited about retirement and have our own lives.  Same for our friends.

Why does it seem to anyone that a MIL wants to hurt her sons wife?  My friends are MIL's.  We want our kids to have good lives, take care of each other and take us out to Denny's when we are on walkers...and  for Pete's sake...not come back to live with us.

The old proverb is "If you argue with your MIL and win, you lose; and if  you argue and you win you still lose."

Make these women your very best friends and you will always have help!  Be nasty and you will get therapy with your minister or priest.  I would rather go to Denny's.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: luise.volta on July 24, 2010, 03:11:38 PM
Welcome, NeeCee...meet you at Dennys!
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: elsieshaye on July 24, 2010, 08:32:28 PM
Neecee, I'm sorry about what you're going through with your son.  I hope he figures things out and reestablishes a relationship with you.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: Pooh on July 25, 2010, 12:53:25 PM
Welcome Neecee and trust me, you are so not alone.  It was really helpful for me to read all the stories and advice on this forum.  I used to love Denny's at 2 oclock in the morning and now I find I love it better at 5 oclock in the evening.  Not that the food is better....I just can't stay up that late anymore!!!

Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: cremebrulee on July 25, 2010, 03:05:36 PM
Quote
Postscript
Creme you are absolutely right, especially about the only person you can change is yourself.  I meant to a point, while the thought that it could be anyone she hated is a comfort, it's a cold one because there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.  That's why I removed myself from the situation really.  Self change.

Hi Post, yes, I knew you meant no insult and I just wanted to let you know, I understand...I to removed myself...and yes, indeed, a cold comfort....hugs....

Quote
It is however nice to know it's not me, it's her issue.

that's what I meant...it's not you...there was a time, when I doubted my every being...I didn't listen to that voice inside...and it was comforting to gain support from not only here but my friends and family.

huggin you
Creme
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: cremebrulee on July 25, 2010, 03:06:21 PM
Welcome Neecee...I'm very sorry to read your story...
sending hugs and love
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: autumnwoman on July 25, 2010, 07:42:45 PM
Miss Priss - I am sorry that your MIL is that type of person.  I am a soon to be MIL and have FDIL issues as you read the other day.  But I am was so nervous that somehow they would find out I wrote on this site that I deleted the entire topic.  I did take your advice and I have now removed myself from the situation.  My DS #1 , FDIL have issues with my DS #2 girlfriend, and I have told both to talk to each other and not to me anymore.  It's not my issue but theirs.  I speak with them about anything else but that issue.  I wanted to thank you even though it was hard to hear that I knew too much informatin about my sons lifes but it gave me another perspective to think about.    My FDIL still has her issues but I won't let them be my issues any more.  The topic was Sadly losing my Son.

I want both my sons to stand on their own feet and be men to start and be a family of their own.  They will always be my sons but I want to share in their lives not be their life.  I hope that in time your MIL will understand how much more fulfilled her life would be if she would just relax and backoff a little.

I don't ever want to be that type of MIL, so I will continue to read these posts and use them as guidance when dealing with my FDIL's and remember we are all GOD's children and  life is truly short so cherish every day with your loved ones.

Thanks again!

Autumnwoman
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: miss_priss on July 26, 2010, 07:20:49 AM
Quote
Why does it seem to anyone that a MIL wants to hurt her sons wife?  My friends are MIL's.  We want our kids to have good lives, take care of each other and take us out to Denny's when we are on walkers...and  for Pete's sake...not come back to live with us.

Neecee - I totally see where you're coming from.  Not all MIL's are evil.  In fact, I'd venture to say that most of them are awesome, because they are awesome as people.  Most people are reasonable, rational, compassionate, and understanding...willing to compromise.  My xMIL was a wonderful woman.  I love her to this day and haave maintained a solid relationship with her, even through divorcing her son, and have even confided in her about situation with my current MIL. 

But as time has passed, I've seen that my MIL is NOT a reasonable person, and she's demostrated this on numerous occasions. Just a few months ago, we were all at a wedding for a family member (her nephew), and was walking around with our infant daugher.  She told my infant daughter (close enough and loud enough for me to hear), "Don't worry sweetheart, someday I'll take care of that mommy and it'll just be me and you and Daddy."  Of course I quickly grabbed my daughter from her and got as far away as possible.  I told her she was sick and to stay away from my daughter and I.  She immediately got upset and told my husband that I had snatched our child from her (of course she didn't tell him why, and she called me a liar when I told him what she had said.  Later, after the drinking began at the reception, she was so "blitzed," that she didn't even realize I was there, listening to her bash me and verbally threaten me to other family members.  She told them (her family) how I had ruined her family, I had ruined her son, I was keeping her grandchild away from her, and that I was put on this planet to make her life hell."  Those she was speaking to knew I was standing there (right beside her!) listening, but she didn't even realize it.  I guess "a drunk man's words really are a sober man's thoughts."   

She's a mean spirit deep down, she's passive aggressive with most everyone in her life, not just me.  She talks nasty about people, then smiles to their faces, just like she did with me for the longest time.  I started to see through her fake smile and no longer tolerated it, and that's really when the trouble started with she and I.  Her added role as MIL doesn't really have anything to do with it, she's just a nasty person altogether and most people who know her will tell you the same thing.     

So I guess my point is (I need to work on my "concise" skills, LOL), I respect that most MILs are wonderful people.  But just as I know that, I also know that there are truly nasty, cruel-intentioned folks out there, men and women, MILs and DILs alike. To your point, no I don't believe she gets up every morning and thinks "I'm going to hurt my son today."  But her cruelty, passive aggressiveness, and mean, black spirit have hurt a lot of people around her.  She doesn't take responsibility for her actions, and she honestly believes she's done nothing wrong.  It's really sad how dilusional she is.  She needs help, real help. 

AutumnWoman - I slapped my own self on the hand after I posted to your thread, for maybe being too hard on you.  I'm known for being brutally honest, and 8 years in the Army hardened me, more than I'd like to admit sometimes...I'm not great at spoon-feeding for sure!  But I know that when I'm having a pity party for myself, my closest girlfriends tell me what I NEED to hear, not what I WANT to hear, and even though that's the toughest thing to swallow sometimes...they haven't steered me wrong yet.  Sometimes I need that "good swift kick" in the tail to make me pick MYSELF up for a reality check. 

That being said, there is freedom in removing yourself.  My child is still very small, so I haven't had the experience that so many of these mothers have with adult children.  But I am an adult child, and so are my siblings and friends.  I can tell you that some of us want our parents to stay out of our business, while others feel the need to drag their parents into whatever issue is going on in their life.  Right or wrong, its a choice they make.  Your kids apparently are the latter, but how you deal with that is completely up to you.  But you don't have to let it ruin your life, or your relationships with them, as long as you stay out of it and treat them equally no matter what.  Much love to you, and I hope you find release.  :)                 
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: autumnlady on July 26, 2010, 10:12:04 AM
Miss Priss - I understandy why you are brutally honest with your past experiences.  My sons only pick and choose what they tell me so I have chosen not to particpate.  Thank you so much for everything and I will continue to learn as I go forward in my life too!  Take care much love to you and I wish you nothing but the best. 
Autumnwoman
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: neecee on July 27, 2010, 03:48:59 PM
Well...for sure im addicted to this thing now.  Thank you for all the support.  I feel more normal than i have felt for many months. 
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: catchingup on July 28, 2010, 11:03:00 AM
Catchingup:

It was funny how I read with interest what you said about your husband's traits.  Like I was thinking on my hubby.  He does buy things he knows I like withouth me asking, even if he does not eat them.  But...when we go shopping (and it is very rare because he hates to go shopping) and I like a blouse or whatever and it is very expensive, he tells me it looks cheap or its not nice. even if he is not going to pay for it.  It makes me laugh.  He says this only after seeing the price tag.  If I go ahead and buy it, he doesnt say anything.  But when it comes to buying me a car, he goes all for it.  He even insist on me getting a new car.  Sometimes people are funny ha? 


Its intelligent how you are managing things in your relationship with him.  It is sometimes to hard to share your life with some people.   

Just sharing.
Love
Rosie

If I go shopping for something specific (which is not often) I go alone.

"Miser" is an awful word to describe a hubby but boy is he snoop.
It would hurt him to know what I spent on a cardigan(My own money) recently because we had to attend a wedding.

My son is getting married next year and he said "Well you can wear that to his wedding" It is in Summer so out of the question.
What a man !!

My middle son had three weddings to attend in South Africa --he lives in U.K.----and when he went back after the one wedding he asked me to go and buy him a certain shirt at a certain store he did not have time to buy while he was here.

It was a white shirt and hubby said "But I have a white shirt you can wear"
Spontaneously  both my son and I said together"No man" then laughed as he gave me a high five.
What a man!!
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: cremebrulee on July 28, 2010, 11:11:07 AM
Miss_priss

Awesome Post!!!!!!!   ;D
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: Nana on July 29, 2010, 02:46:12 AM
If I go shopping for something specific (which is not often) I go alone.

"Miser" is an awful word to describe a hubby but boy is he snoop.
It would hurt him to know what I spent on a cardigan(My own money) recently because we had to attend a wedding.

]My son is getting married next year and he said "Well you can wear that to his wedding" It is in Summer so out of the question.
What a man !!

My middle son had three weddings to attend in South Africa --he lives in U.K.----and when he went back after the one wedding he asked me to go and buy him a certain shirt at a certain store he did not have time to buy while he was here.

It was a white shirt and hubby said "But I have a white shirt you can wear"
Spontaneously  both my son and I said together"No man" then laughed as he gave me a high five.
What a man!![/color]


You made me laugh catchingup.....  at least you see the funny side to it.......

Let me tell you that my hubby does the grocerird  because he doesnt trust me buying because I dont check prices...that is so funny....he might be right but...ehem.....   love him though
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: neecee on July 29, 2010, 09:31:10 AM
I read with interest the part about writing and deleting sections of a post.  I still am concerned that the DIL is scouring avidly any internet postings which describe her behaviour.  I don't think she is "all powerful", but she can do formidable damage when she wants to.  She also waits for things to fall into place.  There are those who position themselves and others for their spiderwebs.  There were situations that in retrospect, took literally 2 years to culminate.

Anyone ever heard of the Brown Stamp Book?  This was from Transactional Analysis in the 70's.  It is similar to the old S&H green stamps we used to collect to get "rewards" for faithful shopping? 

Anyway.  Someone fills these brown stamp books up with "offenses", usually unknown to the person committing the said "offense".  Then one day, the "victim" just goes belly up to the bar and cashes in!  This is generally cashed in with the litany of offenses against them, which allows the offended person to do some horrific behaviour and feel justified.   
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: luise.volta on July 29, 2010, 10:15:44 AM
I never heard of the Brown Stamp Book but I remember an occasion when I was upset with my son about 25 years ago...and when I told him about it, I added several other things (imagined transgressions) to it for good measure. He told me he would address each issue with me that one time...but never again. If I had a gripe...I needed to say so or let it go. I never did it again. :-)) Kids can be great teachers!
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: catchingup on July 30, 2010, 12:16:00 PM

So true "Our children are our teachers"
I was telling the pre-school teacher that when I am busy with something I never get done because the children always call me for something else.
She advised me to tell the kids that I would attend to them as soon as I was finished with what I was busy with.

So one evening when I told my youngest son it was time for bed. he said to me "I just want to finish what I am busy with,then I will go to bed" Ofcourse I thought this was really cute seeiing he had understood the original message.
So there you are we must take what we give.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: GreatWhiteNorth on August 13, 2010, 05:48:06 AM
I am a DIL with severe MIL issues and in reading Miss_priss's messages I am truly taken back. Especially the accounts of your DH spending all his financial resources on his mother and having nothing left for a spouse.

My husband always paid MILs phone bill and her grocery bill too. She claimed maltreatment from FIL that did not exist and then manipulated her sons into "making it up to her". The way that the sons made it up to her was to literally build her a second home, all at their expense in terms of money and time. MIL had 2 grocery stores near by and to save her from having to grocery shop herself, she emailed her son her list of groceries that he would be required to buy for her, put in a cooler and then make the two hour journey to her to hand deliver her groceries.

MIL  is far from broke, she is actually an extremely wealthy woman who is so enmeshed that she believes that her sons resources are hers. He bought her so many large gifts in the form of new ovens, patio doors, he put and paid for a whole new bathroom, a sunroom and an extra bedroom. He had no money left either and I was left initially to pay all the bills when he moved in because all his resources went to support his mother, when she did not even need it. She has 20X more money in her bank account then we will ever dream of.

When I came around MIL saw me as a rival and what I call her "never ending sonny do list" got more intense. She was competing, ensuring that all her sons resources were only going to her.  I was bowing out at this point, we were not married yet and I told him that I could not marry him as he already had a wife in his mother, there was no room for me. I was not asking him to choose at all, I had decided at this point that I saw all I needed to see and was not interested in a life where everything goes to his mother.

My husband was the one that decided that he did not want that and wanted change.

MIL similarly got furious when her money train stopped, when she was being told "no" on her items on her never ending sonny do list. The last item on her sonny do list was for my husband to purchase for her an island breakfast nook for her kitchen complete with dishwasher that not only would my husband be required to pay for, but spend all his time installing it for her. She was very indignant about him saying no to her and was very offended and her threat was that if my husband did not hurry up and get this for her she would *gasp* have to go and do it herself (the research, she still expected him to fund it and install it), shame on him for making her do this! The entitlement and arrogance was incredible.

I was to blame at this point for her "never ending sonny do list" not getting completed, she claimed that I just woke up one day and out of the blue just decided that I don't like her, now SHE was the victim of me. SHE was furious. WW3 with me was about to begin. MIL claimed that the *real* issue is that I am simply jealous of her and her relationship to her son, which she did not see as inappropriate at all. She spousified her son, ousted her own husband and acted like she was married to her own son at times and other times it seemed that she parentified her sons, they acted like MIL was the child and they are the adults. We still get calls from BIL where he wants to talk to my DH about MIL as if she is their dependend child, and the two of them are her parents, it is a sick situation.

We married and our first child was viewed by MIL as not a person but another item on her neverending sonny do list that my husband was to provide for her. She acted like my daughter was no more then a large play doll created only for her to play with. She tried to take over as mother, even went as far as to answer "yes" when my daughter would call for me her mother. I caught her trying to breastfeed my infant at one point, it was so sick.

The one day MIL took my infant daughter out of her highchair, started to walk around with her unsafely and when I went to get my daughter MIL wanted to pay tug of war with her, yelled "mine" and refused to give her back. My husband heard a bunch of noise, came to us and MIL handed me back our daughter as if nothing happened and she was nothing but a sweet old lady. I also related to the words of "MIL is not a rational person"

Then MIL started to play the game of "lets pretend DIL does not exist" , I was in school at the time and was away every other weekend and MIL literally memorized my school schedule and would try to come over and play house with my husband and kids in my absense. My husband caught what she was doing and told her that it was inappropriate for her to specifically wait for me to be gone to come over, she was acting like I was not part of the family. MIL flew into a rage.....it has been a 3 year tantrum ever since.

She started with the nasty emails, calling me all kinds of names, blaming me for the fact that my husband said "no" to her, said things like it was a shame he married me, she wanted better, what a shame that I am so educated and yet act like this. She claimed that she was being victimized, I was keeping her from the children, ruining her life, she claimed that I was evil and that all she can suggest, as the most prayer experienced of all (she called herself this) is that I go to Sunday School and then she started to try and save me from my wickedness.

After that she started to interfere in my daughters daycare, that peaked with her trying to abduct her many times. That caused so much strife in our family, we finally sought a counsellor and that was the beginning of our distance from her. MIL and FIL claimed that the daycare lied when they called to tell us what she had just done and gave us the accounts of her interference. Who are we going to believe? our lying government licenced daycare or MIL?

Christmas that year she cancelled coming with FIL due to a snow storm and then turned around and blamed me for the fact that she did not see her grand daughter on Christmas eve, I answered the phone to FIL screaming at me that I am the problem, but wait...MIL and FIL are the ones that cancelled coming. It had nothing to do with me at all.

I essentially have become MILs scapegoat, MIL is unhappy she immediately blames me and bashes me for her discomfort, it is like a knee jerk reaction.

MIL too believes that she has no wrong, the only thing she admits to is the one email that she was confronted with. MIL and FIL have gaslight that one. Apparently it is all a misunderstanding, the meanings of the words in languages, change all the time so MIL is again the victim of a  misunderstanding. Thus her words as written did not really mean they way they read.

MIL will never ever admit to any wrongdoing.

Long post, and this does not even cover even a drop in the ocean of her horrendous behavior.

But I see in your post that essentially MIL expects to come first in her sons life, to come before the sanctity of marriage and when my husband started to leave her and cleave to his wife, MIL was furious and I have reacted much the same way as you have to the situation. I have been working on the anger part of it, how can a mother do this to her son, to her grandkids, how can a woman be so selfish? and now am at the stage of trying to deal with the part of me that got enmeshed in this.

I hit the point of the line drawn in the sand and even being near MIL was effecting my health and well being to the point that I just can't be near her anymore. It is not about not forgiving her, I am at the point where I pity her, to turn into who she is and be as desperate as she has been to gain attention, but I can't forget and I certainly can never ever let her into our lives ever again, she is just too toxic.

I have just never read another story so similar to my own. I usually just lurk here but I really wanted to respond.

Your post gave me alot of clarity somehow. Despite MILs claims of my apparent wickedness, I actually grew up in a church so I can really relate to the biblical side of things.
















Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: cremebrulee on August 13, 2010, 07:24:13 AM
Hello Greatwhitenorth and welcome

Geeze, your MIL sounds like she is way out there somewhere never to be reached....I'm very sorry, and sad to hear you've had to go thru this...but glad that your hubby is able to stand up to her finally and see what is really going on...

yanno, in another post I explained how my real mother is...and I used to be so angry and hated her...don't let her do that to you...feel sorry for her, b/c she is a very lost soul....never to return....makes you wonder how she grew up or what she went thru to make her like that? 

Don't lurk anymore, please feel free to come in here and vent any old time...it helps...and in the meantime...keep the faith...there is nothing you could ever do to change it, and I realize a lot of your feelings are disgust, b/c you feel so badly for your husband....can you begin to imagine how frustrated, hurt and embarrassed he must feel....? 

I hope you two hold onto each other for support...and understand, it's ok to be angry...anger comes from being hurt...and you have most certainly have had your share and more.....

Big hugs
Creme
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: luise.volta on August 13, 2010, 07:41:43 AM
Welcome - Many of us have gone nuts trying to make sense of another person's pathology...when there is no sense to be made of it. Emancipation comes when we realize that reasonable solutions don't reach the unreasonable..

We have seen here many times that sons somehow become...to unstable women...possessions...or extensions of themselves. The mother thinks she owns her son. DILs and GC automatically come under their jurisdiction, as well.

Thank you for coming forth. I hope you decide to stay more visible. This is such a healing place and I honestly believe that sharing can have more to offer than lurking, at least for some of us. Sending love...
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: GreatWhiteNorth on August 13, 2010, 03:31:44 PM
Thank you both Louise and Creme for your warm welcomes and support as well.

I am reaching a point where I pity her more then anything else, I can't even begin to imagine what in her life could have formed her into this person that she is today. The stress she must have had to endure as a child and in her life must have been relentless and never ending. The fear she must live under on a daily basis is probably something I can never imagine.

I basically pray everynight not for anything bad to happen to her, but for peace from her.

In saying all this, I don't paint all MILs with the same brush at all as my MIL, infact meeting and talking to healthy ones is quite therapeutic. I do understand that MIL is simply the title that this particular person has in relation to me. She was also a dysfunctional parent, dysfunctional spouse, dysfunction grandparent, ect....

Just as the post said, we all have our parts in the dysfunction. MIL has her part by expecting to be placed first, I have my part in my reaction to it, which I believe comes from my childhood as well, and my husband as well for not leaving and cleaving the way he is suppose to. He is getting there and I too have realized that once he started to do that things did start to go more smoothly.

MIL and FIL will never change in their beliefs that they are the primary relationship for their sons, in that they are the permanent relatonship rather then the spouse, and there is nothing I can do about that except first of all accept that that is who they are and by learning from it so that I react appropriately.



Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: Pooh on August 16, 2010, 06:20:10 AM
Welcome and I think you have a great attitude forming to deal with this.  Over and over you will read that "acceptance" of how someone is and to what extent you want to deal with it, is the answer.  I certainly hope you can find some mutual ground somewhere.  But, be prepared to have to cut ties with her if it becomes necessary for you and you DH's sanity and well being. 

I wish you all the luck in the world!
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: miss_priss on August 16, 2010, 07:58:42 AM
GreatWhiteNorth - its refreshing and encouraging to know that someone else is facing this, and that I am not alone.  Your MIL sounds inexplicably to mine (never admitting any fault, ownership and "enspousing" her son, demanding all of son's time, pretending I don't exist, etc.).  I could have written nearly every word you did.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for coming forward with your story. 

It's pretty obvious that we are dealing with "unreasonable" people.  I'd go as far as to say they need psychological help for those issues.  These people display so many defining characteristics of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  Sadly, one of the biggest defining attributes of NPD is being unable to recognize their own bad behavior, and thus, the never seek therapy.  They "don't have a problem, its everyone else that's crazy."  What are those around them supposed to do, besides stay out of their destructive paths?  Confronting the problem makes it FAR worse (as you've seen already), and ignoring the problem only leads to the dissolution of the relationship with your husband.  So what else is there to do? 

My heart is with you GWN, and I hope you will post more often.  :) 
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: Pen on August 16, 2010, 08:51:04 AM
When a DIL chooses to stay out of the way of an out-of-control, narcissistic MIL, all she loses is the out-of-control, narcissistic MIL who she wasn't fond of anyway and didn't have in her life before she signed on with DH. It may be difficult, it may at times be inconvenient, & it may be sad to realize that a positive extended family experience isn't likely to happen.

On the other hand, when a MIL finally decides to let go of a hurtful situation with a DIL, she and her family lose DS. There's a gigantic difference in what MILs go through vs. what DILs go through when choosing to remove themselves from painful interactions with ILs. DS can only do so much - he married his love and is honoring his vows. If life is easier for him w/o us, he's not going to push to communicate with us no matter how much he loves and misses us. It's behavior modification, I guess.

I'm having a bit of a rough day. Mostly I feel as if I'm moving on successfully, but every now and then it hits me. I really miss him. I wonder how DIL's parents would be feeling if the situation were reversed, if we were the pushy, hovering, demanding ILs and they were the ones who were expected to move on, like salmon who spawn and die?

Sorry, I've had a sad weekend. I'll be back to making forward progress in a day or two, just needed to voice it. Can't tell DH, he's had enough hurt and just wants to forget it all.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: GreatWhiteNorth on August 16, 2010, 08:56:59 AM
Thank you Pooh for your support as well, and yes we have pretty much cut ties with her, we had to. MIL when she stopped getting the positive attention of her son being her manservant she started to go for negative attention, thus times spent with her is just exhausting. She performs antic after antic after antic just to drum up negative reactions to her. When her antics started to not produce fruit she started with what I call fiasco's, emergency situations that she drums up (usually right on a grandchilds birthday- as she can not stand a child getting the attention so she must do something to put it back on her).

Miss-Priss- Thank you for posting your story, I had no idea that I was not alone and it was very therapeutic to get your take on it and how you have dealt with it.

The only thing to do is withdraw. If you have not read the book called "The People of the Lie" by Dr. Scott Peck, this book is an amazing resource for dealing with these people. The one thing that struck me the most actually was his suggestion on how we deal with these people in our lives and the answer is out of love, that just baffled me so much, how can I possibly show love towards someone like her?

The answer is to pity her, and she should be pitied, he described that not only are poeple like this diseased but they have the ultimate disease, he explained the fear they live in and why they should be pitied.

So then I was curious as to how to show love in this situation and I came across this book called "The Love Dare", it is meant for husbands and wives but what I liked about it is how it is a step by step guidebook as to how to be loving. I read it and reflect on it very seriously and react to MIL using those guides towards my husband.

In reading it, it points out on around page 112 (If you happen to have the book) that one thing that one must do is get rid of parasites. MILs like ours are infact parasites. They drain a marriage.

Then I had to figure out how I got so enmeshed with her to begin with, so I looked in my family and realized that I am the family scapegoat in my family of origin, and look at the pattern that is repeating with MIL, I am her scapegoat as well, so that is why I have been reacting so strongly to her, unable to detach. I noticed I was able to detach from some things and not others.

But the daycare abduction attempts was like the catch 22s my parents set me up in, get the person upset and then blame them for it. There is just no winning with a person like her so I stopped trying. I started to accept that even though she blames me for everything she is unhappy about it has virtually nothing to do with me.

At the end of the day way before I ever came around MIL and my husband were in an abusive mother-son relationship, where it effects me is like a ripple effect, her reaction to me is where her attitude towards her sons touches me and the kids.

She spousified her son, she is guilty of emotional incest, she is so selfish that she will not let her son go and has no problem with him giving up his life and becoming no more then a ghost just so that she can dance around in the shower of attention that it grants her, no care at all for how her lies about her husband and her lies of abuse that she was not even close to going through was effecting her children at all, not even an ounce of shame.

She would have been like this to anyone that he married and the real problem is that he dared to have a life of his own and stopped living for her.

I certainly don't believe that all MILs are like mine, my MIL was probably similar to some of the dysfunctional DILs that are posted about. It is therapeutic to talk to healthy MILs actually.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: GreatWhiteNorth on August 16, 2010, 09:13:33 AM
Pen- I am sorry to hear that you are having a bad day.

I was hoping to have a positive family experience with my inlaws, the family I never had and it was sad for me to see that that was not going to happen. It is sad that my children essentially don't have grandparents. (MIL does the Munchausen by Proxy thing too- diagnoses my children with ailments that don't exist and then tries to sneak her medicine behind our backs- so we have more risk then just how MIL is towards me and her sabotage efforts on our family)

I have had to re-create a family, my DD was getting a very bad impression of elders thanks to MIL and how she was behaving. I worked very hard to show her that elders are wonderful people that MIL is simply one that is not well. Our neighbour is a very lovely elderly woman who has thankfully been a wonderful role model for our kids on how wonderful elderly people can be.

I for one don't stand in the way of my DH still having a relationship with his parents, so my MIL has not lost her son despite her horrendous behavior, all she has lost is me (who she apparently never *agreed* with or *approved of* anyhow) she still has access to the kids, just very very strictly supervised.

I think that having a dysfunctional MIL or a dysfunctional DIL hurts very much for those involved personally.

All you can do detach because otherwise it will just eat you  up inside.

Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: luise.volta on August 16, 2010, 09:31:14 AM
We are defining abuse here and self-love. Standing tall and moving on. Wise Women indeed! Sending love...
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: cremebrulee on August 16, 2010, 09:59:14 AM
When a DIL chooses to stay out of the way of an out-of-control, narcissistic MIL, all she loses is the out-of-control, narcissistic MIL who she wasn't fond of anyway and didn't have in her life before she signed on with DH. It may be difficult, it may at times be inconvenient, & it may be sad to realize that a positive extended family experience isn't likely to happen.

On the other hand, when a MIL finally decides to let go of a hurtful situation with a DIL, she and her family lose DS. There's a gigantic difference in what MILs go through vs. what DILs go through when choosing to remove themselves from painful interactions with ILs. DS can only do so much - he married his love and is honoring his vows. If life is easier for him w/o us, he's not going to push to communicate with us no matter how much he loves and misses us. It's behavior modification, I guess.

I'm having a bit of a rough day. Mostly I feel as if I'm moving on successfully, but every now and then it hits me. I really miss him. I wonder how DIL's parents would be feeling if the situation were reversed, if we were the pushy, hovering, demanding ILs and they were the ones who were expected to move on, like salmon who spawn and die?

Sorry, I've had a sad weekend. I'll be back to making forward progress in a day or two, just needed to voice it. Can't tell DH, he's had enough hurt and just wants to forget it all.

sending you love and hugs.....
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: cremebrulee on August 16, 2010, 10:01:02 AM
Pen- I am sorry to hear that you are having a bad day.

I was hoping to have a positive family experience with my inlaws, the family I never had and it was sad for me to see that that was not going to happen. It is sad that my children essentially don't have grandparents. (MIL does the Munchausen by Proxy thing too- diagnoses my children with ailments that don't exist and then tries to sneak her medicine behind our backs- so we have more risk then just how MIL is towards me and her sabotage efforts on our family)

I have had to re-create a family, my DD was getting a very bad impression of elders thanks to MIL and how she was behaving. I worked very hard to show her that elders are wonderful people that MIL is simply one that is not well. Our neighbour is a very lovely elderly woman who has thankfully been a wonderful role model for our kids on how wonderful elderly people can be.

I for one don't stand in the way of my DH still having a relationship with his parents, so my MIL has not lost her son despite her horrendous behavior, all she has lost is me (who she apparently never *agreed* with or *approved of* anyhow) she still has access to the kids, just very very strictly supervised.

I think that having a dysfunctional MIL or a dysfunctional DIL hurts very much for those involved personally.

All you can do detach because otherwise it will just eat you  up inside.

your absolutely right....
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: luise.volta on August 16, 2010, 10:23:36 AM
Sending love, Creme
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: barelythere on August 16, 2010, 12:43:02 PM
When a DIL chooses to stay out of the way of an out-of-control, narcissistic MIL, all she loses is the out-of-control, narcissistic MIL who she wasn't fond of anyway and didn't have in her life before she signed on with DH. It may be difficult, it may at times be inconvenient, & it may be sad to realize that a positive extended family experience isn't likely to happen.

On the other hand, when a MIL finally decides to let go of a hurtful situation with a DIL, she and her family lose DS. There's a gigantic difference in what MILs go through vs. what DILs go through when choosing to remove themselves from painful interactions with ILs. DS can only do so much - he married his love and is honoring his vows. If life is easier for him w/o us, he's not going to push to communicate with us no matter how much he loves and misses us. It's behavior modification, I guess.

I'm having a bit of a rough day. Mostly I feel as if I'm moving on successfully, but every now and then it hits me. I really miss him. I wonder how DIL's parents would be feeling if the situation were reversed, if we were the pushy, hovering, demanding ILs and they were the ones who were expected to move on, like salmon who spawn and die?

Sorry, I've had a sad weekend. I'll be back to making forward progress in a day or two, just needed to voice it. Can't tell DH, he's had enough hurt and just wants to forget it all.

So true.  I know how you feel.  A friend said that I needed to blame my son and quit blaming my DIL. Hurt like heck but I guess she's right. 
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: luise.volta on August 16, 2010, 12:58:45 PM
Dear Ones - Sending out more love...more understanding...more  of everything. We trip and fall but we have friends to help us up.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: Pen on August 16, 2010, 11:18:49 PM
When a DIL chooses to stay out of the way of an out-of-control, narcissistic MIL, all she loses is the out-of-control, narcissistic MIL who she wasn't fond of anyway and didn't have in her life before she signed on with DH. It may be difficult, it may at times be inconvenient, & it may be sad to realize that a positive extended family experience isn't likely to happen.

On the other hand, when a MIL finally decides to let go of a hurtful situation with a DIL, she and her family lose DS. There's a gigantic difference in what MILs go through vs. what DILs go through when choosing to remove themselves from painful interactions with ILs. DS can only do so much - he married his love and is honoring his vows. If life is easier for him w/o us, he's not going to push to communicate with us no matter how much he loves and misses us. It's behavior modification, I guess.

I'm having a bit of a rough day. Mostly I feel as if I'm moving on successfully, but every now and then it hits me. I really miss him. I wonder how DIL's parents would be feeling if the situation were reversed, if we were the pushy, hovering, demanding ILs and they were the ones who were expected to move on, like salmon who spawn and die?

Sorry, I've had a sad weekend. I'll be back to making forward progress in a day or two, just needed to voice it. Can't tell DH, he's had enough hurt and just wants to forget it all.

So true.  I know how you feel.  A friend said that I needed to blame my son and quit blaming my DIL. Hurt like heck but I guess she's right.

Well, I'm not going to blame my DS. DIL fooled him a bit, I think, like she fooled DH & me by being sweet and accepting before the wedding and suddenly announcing how much she disliked us afterward. DS is trying to honor his vows and keep the peace at home which, ironically, I support. DIL would probably swear she doesn't stand in the way of our relationship, but she can make her preferences known. She's their social planner as well, and we never seem to get on the calendar before everyone else. If we do see them she demands all the attention, huffing & puffing if DS wants to talk to us. I surely miss him. My sadness is just something I have to deal with, unfortunately. It feels like a non-death, and they don't make Hallmark cards for that.







Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: cremebrulee on August 17, 2010, 04:18:42 AM
Pen, stay strong....I know there are good days, and really crapy days, but know, and believe in your heart, that this to will work out....your son has to be the one to do it....I realize, how you feel and why....however, he must initiate the fact to her, that he needs to see HIS family...and she must allow time for that, if not, then he's going to see you regardless, and she cannot call 100 times during the time he is visiting....that is all he'd have to say and do....maybe you can talk to him?  Tell him how you feel....he needs to know...remind him, that not only do you miss him, but the hurt of this runs a deep course...and also explain to him, that your not always going to be around, and it is so important that you spend time together.  Do you think you could do that?  Communicating feelings to others sometimes is so important...he really needs to know...because somewhere in his mind, he's ignoring this, b/c its easier for him to do that...that isn't fair to you....regardless if she acts out or not....to bad...the girl needs to grow up and stop being so unfair and cruel....it's all about her...

Pardon me for saying so....but there are stages we go thru when involved in inlaw problems and one of them is, we deny that it's our son's faults...and blame her....totally, but then we start to see that he is to blame as well, for allowing her to threat us like that....Pen...it's unfair of his as well....and I know your not ready to view that yet...but it really is....he is going along with it, and for whatever reason, it is wrong to treat anyone like this for the sake of peace....and peace at all costs is no peace at all....believe me....

I'm praying that there is change in all of this...not only you, but for everyone here...
Your all wonderful ladies who deserve to have peace in your lives....
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: barelythere on August 17, 2010, 04:41:07 AM
Pen, stay strong....I know there are good days, and really crapy days, but know, and believe in your heart, that this to will work out....your son has to be the one to do it....I realize, how you feel and why....however, he must initiate the fact to her, that he needs to see HIS family...and she must allow time for that, if not, then he's going to see you regardless, and she cannot call 100 times during the time he is visiting....that is all he'd have to say and do....maybe you can talk to him?  Tell him how you feel....he needs to know...remind him, that not only do you miss him, but the hurt of this runs a deep course...and also explain to him, that your not always going to be around, and it is so important that you spend time together.  Do you think you could do that?  Communicating feelings to others sometimes is so important...he really needs to know...because somewhere in his mind, he's ignoring this, b/c its easier for him to do that...that isn't fair to you....regardless if she acts out or not....to bad...the girl needs to grow up and stop being so unfair and cruel....it's all about her...

Pardon me for saying so....but there are stages we go thru when involved in inlaw problems and one of them is, we deny that it's our son's faults...and blame her....totally, but then we start to see that he is to blame as well, for allowing her to threat us like that....Pen...it's unfair of his as well....and I know your not ready to view that yet...but it really is....he is going along with it, and for whatever reason, it is wrong to treat anyone like this for the sake of peace....and peace at all costs is no peace at all....believe me....

I'm praying that there is change in all of this...not only you, but for everyone here...
Your all wonderful ladies who deserve to have peace in your lives....

That's what I was trying to say only you said it better. The only thing I'd take issue with is to not talk to him about the way she is feeling around his wife.  That could blow up in her face.  He will tell her what Pen said and get her further ostracized.  I know how you're feeling Pen.  It's like a terrible prison where you can't defend yourself.  Sometimes they do turn on a dime the moment they get married.  First we deny it and then the rest follows.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: cremebrulee on August 17, 2010, 04:56:50 AM
Barely there, you might have something there, yes, it could blow up in her face...
however, what does she have now?  Yanno?  I got to the point where I was so afraid to speak to either one of them, but somehow I mustered up enough courage...and I decided, I had nothing to loose....however, Pen may not be there and may never be there, so, I believe she also has to consider your suggestion...it just may not go well at all? 

Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: Sunny1 on August 17, 2010, 06:27:28 AM
Hello everyone. I hope its OK if I jump in here, I have been watching for the past day and am impressed by this sites complexity of allowing both sides of the MIL/DIL situation. (I'm also typing on a smartphone at the moment, so please ignore any grammatical errors)

I am a DIL, married for 2 1/2 years to my best friend. I had been a single mother for nearly 10 years before remarrying.  My ex was abusive, but I had never had any problems with his mother.  So it came as quite a shock to me when,  after becoming engaged to my now husband, that his mother started behaving like a narcissistic control freak.  We were even made to feel guilty that our wedding was supposed to be about us and not my MIL and SIL, both of whom eventually succeeded in ruining our wedding,  and becoming a wedge in our marriage.  (Now you have a little bit of my background )

Pen, I'm so sorry that you're going thru what you are.  I know from my experience, that every one involved gets hurt. My MIL is a lifelong Christian,  and I met my husband at church.  , so I had truly believed I was marryong into a wonderful family.  Once the chaos began though, everyone at church just kept telling us to forgive her, and just as this discussion went before,  there's only so many times you can forgive someone before you need to stop and take a good look at thirty motives.  My MIL used her "Christianity" as a veil to her hypocrisy and manipulation. 

Sadly,  my husband had a really hard time with the reality of finding out what his mom was really like. He chose to cut her out of our lives, and I know that its the hardest thing he's ever done.

Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: Pooh on August 17, 2010, 07:00:18 AM
Well, I'm not going to blame my DS. DIL fooled him a bit, I think, like she fooled DH & me by being sweet and accepting before the wedding and suddenly announcing how much she disliked us afterward. DS is trying to honor his vows and keep the peace at home which, ironically, I support. DIL would probably swear she doesn't stand in the way of our relationship, but she can make her preferences known. She's their social planner as well, and we never seem to get on the calendar before everyone else. If we do see them she demands all the attention, huffing & puffing if DS wants to talk to us. I surely miss him. My sadness is just something I have to deal with, unfortunately. It feels like a non-death, and they don't make Hallmark cards for that.  

I think I know where Pen is coming from on this one.  I am in the same boat as Pen and although I don't see my Son as blameless for allowing the distance between us, people can be very manipulative.  MY DIL, just as Pen's, was very believable in the beginning as to all her sweetness and charm.  It was only during the engagement that she started showing her "true colors".  I know that our Sons are not innocent in all of it, but I do truly believe some people know exactly what buttons to push and how to bring them over to "their side".    How many times have you seen a Man (not your son, but a friend or coworker) that is with a female that you just sit and shake your head wondering what in the world they see in her?  I find myself doing it with my female friends as well with Men that treat them badly and I can't find one nice thing to say about their partner.  Men and Women both will say, "You just don't get them like I do.  I know they are this and that, but really, they can be very sweet."  And then we sit back and go, "Ok, then how come 100 other people that know them think they are awful?"  My Mother always said, "Love is blind."

It is my Son's fault for having blinders on, but yet she created the blinders and placed them snuggly on his head.  I think the difference, IMO is that he doesn't see it because of the "reality" she has created for him.  I have hurt people's feelings by accident and I am aware when I do it, that I need to apologize and try not to make that mistake again.  But I can't stand someone that purposefully hurts people.    So, Yes, it is his fault too but for me, she is more the guilty party because she does it on purpose and truly set out to distance him from friends and family. 

The more I have read and studied on this, I have come to the conclusion that she needed to take away his support team.  His friends, family and his own brother were the people that would take him back in and help him if their relationship fell apart.  These are also the people that see her as she is, and not what she wants people to believe.  I think that by eliminating those relationships from his life, she feels that he will stay with her, no matter what.  And truly, she is right.  If he ever does take a stand and decide she is not the person he thought, it will make it harder for him to end the relationship because he will feel so alone.  By making herself the center of his universe and his only support (in her head) she feels more secure and in control.   I know there are some MILs that want to keep that control over their Son's, but not all of us feel that way.  We just wanted to be part of their life.  So for now, we stay away and hope that someday, something changes.  Either the DIL matures and realizes what she has done or the DS wakes up and says, "No More."

I am not speaking for Pen, but I think that is where she is coming from too?  We don't think our DS is blameless, but we do think they were fooled, and are continuing to have those blinders fastened on every day.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: neecee on August 17, 2010, 08:02:45 AM
Pen - Hang on...things get better.  I gave myself a full year to grieve for the kids and now I find that the periods may be painful but shorter.  Give yourself permission to cry and rant whenever you need to get that negative junk out of your body.

GWN:  Wow!  You have the gift of articulation!  I read People of the Lie, and found that I was just not ready to do what Peck recommended. However, over time, when my pain was greatest, I would visualize sending the white light of love to my kids, cutting the cords of pain I felt.  In essence, it worked.
I will read The love Dare.  I am a firm believer in Family Systems Theory.  My more difficult relationships in my family of origin are related to wanting to change my position in the family.  Doing such things without "permission" is tantamount to being cut off by them.  It was never my intention to cut off anyone, but to simply change my own reactions to painful situations. That is all we can control, right?

I think the same occurred with my step kids.  It must be something intuitive.  I think some people are like sharks.  They circle and smell blood in the water.  It works them up to a frenzy and they cannot help but feast on the pain of others.  I don't think any of us are willing to blood-let for the sharks anymore.

It is important to state that I no longer feel like a victim.  I think my DIL and son are no longer in our lives because we aren't victims.  Their tormenting was only fun if they could feed at will.  Now, they cannot.  In fact, they find they have been exposed and this is pretty shaming.  Sharks like to lurk under cover.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: cremebrulee on August 17, 2010, 09:45:28 AM
Quote
neecee
I read People of the Lie, and found that I was just not ready to do what Peck recommended. However, over time, when my pain was greatest, I would visualize sending the white light of love to my kids, cutting the cords of pain I felt.  In essence, it worked.
I will read The love Dare.  I am a firm believer in Family Systems Theory.  My more difficult relationships in my family of origin are related to wanting to change my position in the family.  Doing such things without "permission" is tantamount to being cut off by them.  It was never my intention to cut off anyone, but to simply change my own reactions to painful situations. That is all we can control, right?

Neecee, this is so so true...excellent post....and yes, it does work....b/c your sending postive energy...instead of negative...boy does it work, so glad to read this....

I think, Neecee, some are emotional vampires, sucking the life force out of us...as you call them sharks.....yes, indeed....

I really enjoyed this...thank you
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: luise.volta on August 17, 2010, 10:06:57 AM
Sometimes I find I have to clear out the negative energy before I can send any positive energy.

And the term "near-death", as associated with a loss of a DS in the situation we face, resonates with me. There is a grief process. Sending love...
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: barelythere on August 17, 2010, 10:42:15 AM
Barely there, you might have something there, yes, it could blow up in her face...
however, what does she have now?  Yanno?  I got to the point where I was so afraid to speak to either one of them, but somehow I mustered up enough courage...and I decided, I had nothing to loose....however, Pen may not be there and may never be there, so, I believe she also has to consider your suggestion...it just may not go well at all?

Something I've come to know after all these years.  My Son and DIL can never have me back, ever. They used me for years and now they don't need me.  They might one day but they have never one time been there for us. So that's what happens after years and years of running after crumbs, you quit one day and that's it.

I have bought my GD for her birthday something my nephew's wife made, it's just beautiful but my Nephew's wife is not on my DILs social ladder so if I tell her where I got it, she immediately will not like it.  Although, my Nephew's wife is making a killing with these things.  Sometimes, when you're ready, you  just say, that's enough. 
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: luise.volta on August 17, 2010, 12:28:49 PM
And sometimes self-love, freely translated, means, "That's enough!"
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: Pen on August 18, 2010, 09:35:21 PM
Pooh, thank you. It's good to be heard and understood.

Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: pam1 on August 19, 2010, 08:02:48 AM
I guess I didn't post how many times we had, as a couple, tried to sit down with and talk with her.  We invited her into our home to talk (she immediately got defensive and sarcastic and accused us of "ganging up" on her, it didn't turn out well), we invited her to phone counseling with a family therapist (she "couldn't take the call, she was on the phone with a friend who was having a crisis....TWICE)
Wow, that is exactly what happened when we tried to talk to our dil.  She accused us of ganging up on her. My hubby & I sat down with ds & dil to try to talk things out, & dil got really upset, ran from the room, cried, slammed the door, etc.  I truly don't think dil is able to understand any point of view unless it is hers.  I try my best to see things from several different perspectives.  It's like figuring out how to put a puzzle together, you may have to try several pieces before you find the one that fits.  Do you know what I mean?  I think dil is only capable of trying one piece, if it doesn't fit, the puzzle isn't meant to be.  Some may call it tunnel vision, when you only see what is in the tunnel, & not what is all around you.  Hard trying to deal with this type of personality.

Anna, your DIL behaves very similarly to my MIL.  She will not talk to me and will cry, run out of the room, change the subject anytime it gets to something emotional.  It's a very hard situation b/c you can't make progress or compromise unless someone talks to you!  With DH, MIL feels free to yell, scream and cry to him.  But me?  Just nothing.

If we try together she does a mixture and usually just refuses to have the conversation unless she can control it.  It's very hard and I understand the struggle you're going through.  At some point you want to give up b/c it is just so dang hard to face someone with such terrible communication issues that it works you up and takes over your mind how to have a simple conversation and it really shouldn't be that way.  Extremely frustrating.  So much could be solved with grown up communication and it's such a shame that you pretty much have to forego any type of compromise due to someone's inability to have a conversation. 
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: miss_priss on August 19, 2010, 01:22:07 PM
Quote
At some point you want to give up b/c it is just so dang hard to face someone with such terrible communication issues that it works you up and takes over your mind how to have a simple conversation and it really shouldn't be that way.  Extremely frustrating.  So much could be solved with grown up communication and it's such a shame that you pretty much have to forego any type of compromise due to someone's inability to have a conversation.


Pam1 - this is SO true.  Everytime we've tried to have any similance of a conversation with MIL, she either refuses, OR she comes into it snarky, sarcastic, mean, ruthless, and relentless.  Her objective is to get even, not resolve.  Those are the folks that can't see past their own noses, and it goes for MILs, DILs, FILs, SILs, DHs...anyone.  Its impossible to resolve anything with this type of person, because they don't understand the concept of compromise, only "my way or the highway."  And all you can do is pity these people for what they are missing out on by being totally incapable of reason.   
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: Nana on August 19, 2010, 02:16:03 PM
Anna:
I have notices in my lifetime (59 years lol) that when people are losing an argument or have nothing in their defense, their defense is to get angry and elope.  I hate when people does this.  My husband does it sometimes.  When he has nothing in his defense, he gets angry and tells me that I  he will not argue anymore and leaves the room.  grrrrrr.   It is just what some dil/mil's do also.  It is a virtue to listen and give careful thought to what is being said to us. 

How many dil's would dream about having a mil like you.  Poor girl....doesnt realized what she is losing.

Your dil still has a lot of growing to do. 

I wish you the best of luck!
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: cremebrulee on August 20, 2010, 05:25:00 AM
Anna:
I have notices in my lifetime (59 years lol) that when people are losing an argument or have nothing in their defense, their defense is to get angry and elope.  I hate when people does this.  My husband does it sometimes.  When he has nothing in his defense, he gets angry and tells me that I  he will not argue anymore and leaves the room.  grrrrrr.   It is just what some dil/mil's do also.  It is a virtue to listen and give careful thought to what is being said to us. 

How many dil's would dream about having a mil like you.  Poor girl....doesnt realized what she is losing.

Your dil still has a lot of growing to do. 

I wish you the best of luck!

this is so true and right on....and I myself have done this....and makes me wonder if we are not teaching our kids that there is nothing wrong with admitting wrong doing, or that we make a mistake?  I mean, some of these people actually believe themselves....that they didn't do anything to cause the situation....there is nothing shameful about admitting we are wrong....or taking blame when we do something wrong....I ponder, if as parents we forget to train our children this? 

I used to always tell my son, don't ever tell a lie, b/c if you tell one lie, and you get caught, and you will....no one will ever believe you again....

Later in life, his buddy told me he was smoking....one day he came home from school and I asked him...."were you smoking?"
he said, "yes".  I asked him..."where are you hiding the cigerettes?"  He said, "in a tree outside".  I told him....OK, from now on, you understand, while your living in my household, you don't smoke....when you leave this house to go on your own, it's your turn to do what you want...however, while here, regardless there are rules you must follow and that is one of them".  I walked away and we carried on, but was stunned and very happy he didn't lie to me....and he never asked me how I knew....it was just dropped....LOL....

I never taught my son that I can remember about taking ownership, and not to be ashamed to admit when he was wrong....however, I believe he does possess the awareness, because he has said some very surprising things to me, that I've learned from....regarding other people and his arrests and how he assesses a situation...and he was like that from a child...he was capable of sitting back and listening....not talking much but observing people as they talked and then he chose his friends...they didn't choose him....

Very interesting....Nana, and yes, I can understand the frustration...LOL...
My wheels are spinning now, and I'm thinking back to when I to did this...many times...and was not even aware I was wrong or wouldn't listen....sheeesh??????



Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: Pooh on August 20, 2010, 05:43:09 AM
I call it "entitlement" syndrome.  I think the generations that are 30ish down now were brought up to believe that they were entitiled to everything.  As a society, we pushed our kids with words like "no one has the right to tell you that you can't do something" and "women can have it all."  As a Mother, I know I tried to teach responsibility to my kids and make them "earn" things, but thought nothing of buying them a $600.00 game system for Christmas.  And then I would follow that up with "Oh, they have to have more than that to open", so I would buy them more things.  For birthdays, they got the new IPODS they wanted.  I bet we had every game system that every came out, their own TV to play it on, stereos, the new rocker chairs with speakers that their games plugged into.  We wanted our children to have more than we had and we gave it to them.  I tried to temper that with, well they make good grades...do chores..are respectable...and are good kids.  But as I look back now, I did give them 1000% of what we had growing up.

Now I am dealing with a 17 y/o stepdaughter that thinks the world revolves around her and that has no empathy for other people.  She has been given all those things too, except was never made to do chores or anything.  So she is even worse.  I think we all grew up knowing that if we got a $20 gift for Christmas, how special that was and appreciated it so much because we didn't get many of those and knew our parents made sacrafices to buy those.  These generations got a $500 dollar TV and although they squealed with delight, they saw it as no big deal, because everyone has one and I should too.  And they never thought about what the parents had to do to afford it.  Mom works, Dad works...what's the big deal?  I see it in my DIL, my kids, my step-daughter and my friends kids.  We didn't do it on purpose, and in many cases, we thought we were doing it the right way.

Just my opinion, but that's why I call it "entitlement syndrome".  I think they all go, everyone else has these things, so I should too and are not appreciative of anything or what it took anyone to get it.  It's expected.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: cremebrulee on August 20, 2010, 05:45:18 AM
Dil is due with her third child in a couple of months.  I sure hope she does some growing before this little one is born.  With three little ones, (5, 4, & newborn),  dil is going to need all the help she can get.

I hope so to Anna....all you can do is hope....but yanno something...I betcha, she is learning a lot from you...be patient with her....it's unfortunate she didn't have the upbringing she should have had...and her knowledge on these things is so far fetched sometime, but maybe she will progress, perhaps without you even realizing it, you may be a good influence on her...baby steps girlfriend....look for those little progressions and if you see them, reward her.... someway let her know your happy with her decission...don't make it fake, just give her credit where credit is due...it might help build her confidence....but don't expect to be her friend, don't expect anything from them period...think of her as only an aquaintence...maybe that way,  you and your husband make plans without them...don't ask them to go...you will have fewer expectations of them, and won't set yourself up to be hurt?  good luck...and I hope she seasons with time....

and Anna, pssst.....maybe, just maybe what she resents in you the most, she herself wants to be....(wink)

Hugs
Creme
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: Pooh on August 20, 2010, 05:47:01 AM
Creme, I am there with you.  I have the one son who thinks "money makes the world go round" and doesn't own up to his faults.  Then I have the other one, in the Army, that has made many mistakes, but takes responsibility for everything and fixes it.

Amazing they had the same, exact raising, but older one took on more characteristics of his Dad, and the younger one, Me.  The lessons I gave sunk in with the younger one, but not the older one.  I just don't get it sometimes.

(and when I say older, they are just 17 months apart, so were raised together)
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: cremebrulee on August 20, 2010, 05:49:10 AM
Creme, I am there with you.  I have the one son who thinks "money makes the world go round" and doesn't own up to his faults.  Then I have the other one, in the Army, that has made many mistakes, but takes responsibility for everything and fixes it.

Amazing they had the same, exact raising, but older one took on more characteristics of his Dad, and the younger one, Me.  The lessons I gave sunk in with the younger one, but not the older one.  I just don't get it sometimes.

well lady, if ya ever do, please advise, I'll be here....LOL, God willing.... ;D

Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: Pooh on August 20, 2010, 05:51:08 AM
Same to you...if you figure it out first...please, please...SHARE...Lol
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: cremebrulee on August 20, 2010, 05:57:41 AM
I call it "entitlement" syndrome.  I think the generations that are 30ish down now were brought up to believe that they were entitiled to everything.  As a society, we pushed our kids with words like "no one has the right to tell you that you can't do something" and "women can have it all."  As a Mother, I know I tried to teach responsibility to my kids and make them "earn" things, but thought nothing of buying them a $600.00 game system for Christmas.  And then I would follow that up with "Oh, they have to have more than that to open", so I would buy them more things.  For birthdays, they got the new IPODS they wanted.  I bet we had every game system that every came out, their own TV to play it on, stereos, the new rocker chairs with speakers that their games plugged into.  We wanted our children to have more than we had and we gave it to them.  I tried to temper that with, well they make good grades...do chores..are respectable...and are good kids.  But as I look back now, I did give them 1000% of what we had growing up.

Now I am dealing with a 17 y/o stepdaughter that thinks the world revolves around her and that has no empathy for other people.  She has been given all those things too, except was never made to do chores or anything.  So she is even worse.  I think we all grew up knowing that if we got a $20 gift for Christmas, how special that was and appreciated it so much because we didn't get many of those and knew our parents made sacrafices to buy those.  These generations got a $500 dollar TV and although they squealed with delight, they saw it as no big deal, because everyone has one and I should too.  And they never thought about what the parents had to do to afford it.  Mom works, Dad works...what's the big deal?  I see it in my DIL, my kids, my step-daughter and my friends kids.  We didn't do it on purpose, and in many cases, we thought we were doing it the right way.

Just my opinion, but that's why I call it "entitlement syndrome".  I think they all go, everyone else has these things, so I should too and are not appreciative of anything or what it took anyone to get it.  It's expected.

I totally agree that this is a main reason....I think when we study people, even our closest enemies....there are reasons why people do things....and there is never one reason but many....but when we begin to understand why a person is acting a certain way....we start to understand them better...it the lack of knowledge about them that behooves us...

but yes, your absolutely right....entitlement and why?

Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: Pooh on August 20, 2010, 06:16:43 AM
I wish I knew.  I am by no means the perfect Mom or person, but they were taught life values.  Morals, Ethics, Responsibilities, etc.....boggles my mind.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: luise.volta on August 20, 2010, 10:04:39 AM
Did you hear the story about the guy who won the lottery and decided to use it to go around the world and find the perfect woman? After five years he came back alone. His friends asked him what happened. He said "Well, I found her...but she's looking for the perfect man!"
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: neecee on August 20, 2010, 08:25:19 PM
I have had the conversation about our  "entitled" 30 somethings with friends and family quite often in the last few years.  When we began to see our children throw our gifts by the wayside, it baffled us and stimulated so much discussion.There are studies on this topic as well.  For a while, I felt as though I was disrespecting the group in a general way, however since reading so much on this generation, I am convinced of the truth of it. Some write that it is the fault of the boomers and some attribute this to our media.  I suppose it is some of both and more.  Some discussion I have had indicate that there may be some benefit to this terrible recession.  Perhaps it will help all of us value what we have.

I just spoke to a dear friend of this site.  She is going through some hard times with her son and dil.  It is good to know that someone might avoid pitfalls the rest of us have fallen through.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: luise.volta on August 21, 2010, 09:45:06 AM
I worry about that, too. Mostly in connection with daycare. We read that beliefs, values and reactions are firmly cemented by age seven and then we put children into the care of someone else who will answer all of their questions. We don't know what those people believe or how they present it. They are usually overworked, underpaid and poorly educated. Then on the weekend, out of guilt, we spoil them rotten. Can we get anything but totally confused young adults?
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: Pen on August 21, 2010, 10:47:57 AM
I don't know what the answer is. We couldn't spoil DS & DD with material things when they were young, but we gave them enriching experiences and taught them about caring for their community and their world. They both were very involved in community service clubs & projects from elementary school on through high school. Unfortunately, the values of DIL's FOO and others like them are not the ones he was raised with and they frequently clash. He's going to have to figure it out for himself.

It does concern us how DS & DIL will treat us when we're older, or how they'll handle our disabled DD when we're gone. We can arrange the financial stuff, but it's the lack of emotional support we worry about.

However, it's not just the younger generation - my stepmom and her sibs, who are all very successful, left their mom in a sub-standard nursing home for years (lying in her own waste for hours, etc. etc.) I questioned my DF about it and he couldn't explain why his wife & her sibs didn't pool their vast resources to find better placement. I am still shocked by their selfishness. Of course, they've made sure they're all well-provided for. SM took control of DF's finances the minute they married, and he looks like an old homeless guy while she wears Sax 5th Ave.

I think selfish people can come in all age groups.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: Pooh on August 23, 2010, 07:04:59 AM
I have thought a lot about this as well.  I have looked at my brother (who is 10 years older than me) and myself, and then my oldest Son and thought about the differences in our raisings.  We all had the same raising as in morals, ethics, discipline, etc.  But I truly believe the main difference was mentality.

My Mother and Stepfather were just barely making it when my brother was a kid and teenager.  They scraped together enough to help him buy his first car for $500.  Lol...it was a Pinto.  He had to pay the insurance and upkeep.

They were doing much better financially 10 years later, when it was my turn.  They co-signed on a new-used car for me and put $1000 down.  I paid the payments, insurance and upkeep.

When my son was that age, we bought him a nice used truck ($2000), paid the insurance and he paid the upkeep.

Now, my brother who is now 52, looks back on that as he was shafted.  He is always, "You got a new car, I got a piece of junk."  And his entire life, he has strived to buy all the best material things.  Because he didn't get much as a child, he is trying to make up for it.

I look at it as I had the best of both worlds.  I truly appreciate what my parents did to help and gave me, but at the same time had to work to pay the payments, insurance and upkeep.

My Son sees that all his friends were given cars and he was no different.  Shows no appreciation for what we did, and felt like he was entitled. 

We all 3 were given a similar situation, but my brother had less, I was middle of the road, and my Son was given more.  My brother is resentful, I am grateful and my Son is non-chalant and feels like he was entitled.  I guess that it what I meant by, I know we gave our kids way to much.  Even though they had chores, were disciplined and taught better...just as I was, our lessons didn't sink in as well because we were also handing them things left and right because we wanted them to have better than we did.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: Pen on August 23, 2010, 08:38:42 AM
Pooh, it probably goes deeper than just the car, if you know what I mean. Many oldest children carry their resentment of sharing their parents with the "new" kids way into adulthood, even if they've always loved their sibs, and the "stuff" is just a tangible reminder.

It's a hard call as parents when our kids need our help. Some kids intrinsically have a work ethic and a gracious nature, and some don't. You have to know your child and adjust accordingly, I guess, but then you're guilty of not being fair. Who knows?

Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: Pooh on August 23, 2010, 08:49:24 AM
You are very right Pen.  I am sure it goes much deeper than that with him.  Because of our age difference, financial situations were totally different during our raisings.  By the time I was 8, he was graduating and getting married.  Unfortunately, my parents struggled during his childhood to make ends meet.  They had both received great promotions and made much better money when I came along, so I got more than he did, as far as material things.

Although I can see the whys, he doesn't.  I think he carries a jealousy over it and I understand where he is coming from, but at the same time, he refuses to see the situation for what it was, simply they made better money.  I think he thinks that they loved me more and that is just not true. 

By the way, he is good to me to this day although he and I are totally different people.  But, money makes his world go round.  For example:  he didn't feel like attending my High School graduation so he bought me a $1000 tennis bracelet.  Needless to say, I returned the bracelet, my feelings hurt with a note that said, "Thanks, but I wanted you there."  He has never understood to this day how I could return that bracelet.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: miss_priss on August 23, 2010, 09:03:32 AM
Pooh - I am facing that situation right now with my MIL.  She crossed some major boundaries and instead of an apology, she sent a box full of lavish gifts for DH and DD.  I want to return the gift to her or donate it to bring someone else some joy, but DH doesn't understand that.  He has a tendency to let money rule his world too, whereas I see the underlying principles involved. 

But if you HAD kept the bracelet, I bet you wouldn't have ever worn it, because you knew what it stood for.  Another case of darned if you do, darned if you don't.   
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: Pooh on August 23, 2010, 09:15:48 AM
Yes, it would be locked in a box somewhere.  But I couldn't even bring myself to do that.  I didn't want him to think he could "buy me".  I wanted him to know that I loved him for who he was, not what he could give me.  And I also wanted him to know that I saw him.  I saw the person he was, not the size of his wallet.

I will tell you, 20 years later, he still buys me lavish presents, but yet I think he has learned.  When I remarried in November last year, I called him and asked if he would be able to attend.  I told him I really, really wanted him to come because I had finally found someone that I truly loved.  He drove 12 hours to attend our wedding and brought me an expensive little camcorder as a present.  I made sure to tell him how much his "being" there meant to be, and thanked him for the present.  I told him I would use it to send him videos of my granddaughter, my son's Army grad and events he couldn't attend, and that is what I have done.  I email him videos of our life, to keep in touch.

So, I no longer return his presents, because I realize that he has learned that it is him that I truly love, not his presents.  By attending the wedding, his present became just that.  A gift.  And although he still spends a lot of money on presents, I also know this makes him happy to give big presents.  But when I was younger, his presents were a way of apologizing without saying he was sorry.  Big difference. 
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: Pooh on August 23, 2010, 09:17:17 AM
And Priss, that's why I wanted you to return the gifts.  Your MIL hasn't learned yet.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: miss_priss on August 23, 2010, 12:27:54 PM
I totally agree, she hasn't yet learned that a gift is acceptable in leiu of a sincere apology.  DH realizes that as well, but we're still just stuck on what to do with the gift.  He's still afraid of "making her mad" by returning/donating the gift.  I can't do it without his approval, which I have thought about.  I thought about just boxing it up and sending it back while he was at work, but that wouldn't only cause him anger towards me...and that's exactly what she's always wanted.  So now it's just sitting there, on the dining table....a big awkward elephant in the room.   
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: luise.volta on August 23, 2010, 12:35:50 PM
Maybe you could put it away someplace (the zoo?) and when she asks if you got it...you could say that there was no apology enclosed, so you were still waiting for her communication. Would DH OK that? He can't remain in terror of her forever, (I hope.) Sending love...
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: GreatWhiteNorth on August 23, 2010, 01:45:22 PM
I must say, I am rather enjoying this discussion board, it adds a new element to get both sides (MIL and DIL) to the story and I appreciate the openness here of welcoming everyone.

Now that the side note is done, I wanted to respond to what to do with the unwanted gifts.

My MIL is a very cheap gift giver, even though she is quite weathy. For instance after my DH spent about 30G of his own money renovating her cottage her "thank you" gift was a bag of dried apricots from Costco. I am not saying that I expect anything from her but I think my MIL cheapness with her gifts has actually helped the situation. You know those packets of peanuts you get on an airplane, MIL usually saves those from her many trips a year and gives those as Christmas gifts.

What I usually do with anything that MIL "gifts" to us is something called "black holing it" see if you return it that gives them negative attention which is a reward because it is negative N supply. You are only going to get more of these gifts this way

What you do is find somewhere out of the way to store it, keep it there for a while. Wait until everyone has forgotten about it and then you can throw it away at that point. That way no-one gets any attention from the gifts and you don't have the "elephant" in your home. Think of the place out of the way to store it as the zoo Louise mentioned.

I "black hole" the really insulting gifts (like MIL buying me books on Jesus to save my wicked soul) by just leaving them at whereever it was we were given them, not even giving them the attention of bringing them home.

But maybe it is easier when your MIL gives gifts the way mine does, perhaps.

Sometimes MIL uses gifts to exclude our son, at a birthday she will buy something for only the girl grandkids, has a gift for every child there except our son. We have actually explained to our daughter that we have to give the gift back in those cases, and that although it appears that she is being nice, she is really not being nice, she is using this gift to start creating wedges between her and her brother and resentment between them by blatently only thinking of one of them.

I would definitely see the gift for what it is, Ns typically use them for dishonest means, to cause negative attention.

It is one of those things that looks nice on the outside but really is not nice at all, kind of like when some MILs have food boundary issues and insist on overtaking your fridge with their leftovers. I have seem many a DIL get caught in that trap. It looks like the dysfunctional MIL is only trying to help right? I guess food would be another "gift" example.

Just to add to this...

I do appologize to all the nice MILs out there, I don't paint all with the same brush or believe that my MIL does these things because she is a MIL specifically, she is a dysfunctional person period. Probably was one similar to some of the dysfunctional DILs that some of you have when she was a DIL.

Probably how I can relate to some of you with the shoe on the other foot, where the DIL is the problem.

Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: Pooh on August 23, 2010, 02:03:22 PM
Great idea Luise!  And GreatWhite, I love your "black hole" solution.  Geniuses...I tell ya...just geniuses!
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: luise.volta on August 23, 2010, 02:21:33 PM
Thanks!  8) It looks to me like we have distilled the gift thing down pretty well and what is left is DHs inability to stand up and be counted...due to his fear of his mother's emotional baggage and how it is used as weaponry.  A united front is needed. Counseling may help but she is "winning" as long as he waffles. Sending love...
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: pam1 on August 23, 2010, 03:09:15 PM
I totally agree, she hasn't yet learned that a gift is acceptable in leiu of a sincere apology.  DH realizes that as well, but we're still just stuck on what to do with the gift.  He's still afraid of "making her mad" by returning/donating the gift.  I can't do it without his approval, which I have thought about.  I thought about just boxing it up and sending it back while he was at work, but that wouldn't only cause him anger towards me...and that's exactly what she's always wanted.  So now it's just sitting there, on the dining table....a big awkward elephant in the room.   

Can you put it in the closet or somewhere away from sight?  It's still the elephant in the closet but you've got it out of the way.  I think if it's out of sight, out of mind and DH may just forget about it. 

One of the things the counselor said that really resonated with me was that *we* have to find someway to minimize her impact in our household.  She is causing us to fight by the gifts, the manipulations etc.  If we don't fight or talk about X and move on, she loses.  So applying the gift example to your sitch, if you put it away, it's out of sight, out of mind, she loses.  And you and DH aren't fighting.  Simply don't put any emphasis on this box, put it away.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: miss_priss on August 24, 2010, 06:49:23 AM
Thanks so much WW.  I've done as you've advised and placed the box of stuff in the top of the closet in the spare bedroom (It's our "black hole").  I told DH I was doing it, and he did not understand how it "resolves" anything...and can you believe this...he actually asked me if he could take the items out of the box that were meant for him!  He said "well, I really need some new work pants, I don't see what it's hurting anything for me to use them." 

Ugh, I give.  :( 
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: Pooh on August 24, 2010, 07:00:03 AM
Bless your heart Priss.   Ok, since he is not "getting it" at this moment and not presenting a united front on this issue, then you have done what you can. 

Now I see this.  You have placed the box in the "black hole", and you could tell him, "This is where I am placing things like this from your Mother from now on.  I can not accept the gifts in lieu of an apology and will not empower her.  If you choose to get in the box and use things, that is your decision, but I will not participate.  I will not be angry with you for doing it because that is your choice.  But any backlash or situations created by your decision to participate, will be yours to solve.  I love you."

Then let it go and if she waltzes back in because of the gift, then force him to deal with her by walking away.  Maybe if he has to do this a few times, he will get it?
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: GreatWhiteNorth on August 24, 2010, 01:33:22 PM
The purpose of the "black hole" is not give any attention to the gift. If she is a Narcissist then she is looking for attention, positive or negative and using inappropriate gifts as a possible way to drum up N supply (attention).

The black hole is where the inappropriate gift is deposited after it is received, no attention is to be given to the gift throughout the "black holing process". The black hole is a spot for the gift to be so that ample time can pass so the said gift is forgotten about. If you are asked directly for the black holed gift, you can produce it (thus no negative attention of "where is the gift").

After a bit of time has passed, simply go to the nearest value shop and donate it.

The whole purpose is to give zero attention to the inappropriate gift as that is likely the whole point of her giving it in the first place, even the bafflement of getting the gift is attention.

So next gift you get, say no words and just deposit it into the black hole......it is simple process that gets easier with time.

I have gotten so good at doing this with MILs inappropriate gifts that they get dropped off at the value shop still wrapped. MIL caught on the value shop I dropped them off at and started to write their full names in the inappropriate gifts in permanent black marker. So I made the writings illegibile before dropping it off.

If MIL hands me an inappropriate gift directly (usually this means she has something for our daughter only but nothing for our son) I black hole it right beside me, leave it on the floor and don't take it with us when we leave. No attention granted....

MIL did this same tactic with my daughters birthday cake, same principal, it was an inappropriate gift.

We had already made a birthday cake and MIL asked if she could make one as well. My DH said no thank you, we already have a cake. Since MIL does not listen to the word "no" she proceeded to make this cake.  FIL must have gotten into it because by the time she presented it to my husband it was a half eaten birthday cake. My husband again said no thank you so MIL freezes it in her freezer. My daugthers birthday is in November.

In March it is BILs birthday, so what does MIL bring. She takes this apple meringue cake she made for my daughter out of the freezer and writes on it "Happy birthday (my Daughters name)" just to make it clear that she had this cake for my DD.

I didn't even see the writing, my husband cut the cake so that the writing was not visible, and there was no attention granted for the inappropriate cake....

So there are lots of ways to black hole things really.



Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: miss_priss on August 24, 2010, 01:52:49 PM
GWN - If I had about half of your courage I think I'd be just fine.  You've really got this black-holing thing down.  :)

It's easier when your DH is on-board with the plan though.  Mine isn't, at all.  He still sees no problem in "accepting" the gift, but not accepting it as an apology.  In other words, he thinks we should just say "thank you", use the gift, and when she tries to slither her way in with said gifts, tell her "thanks, but your gift was not an acceptable form of apology." 

I'm completely with you on the black-holing and other methods of discarding the gift (donation, etc)...the problem is that DH thinks I am not handling his mother the right way.  I don't know how or when he will see that HIS method of "handling" his mother obviously hasn't worked...or we wouldn't have this problem to begin with!

It's frustrating....
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: GreatWhiteNorth on August 24, 2010, 04:38:40 PM
The object of the black holing is lack of attention to something not appropriate,  so if your husband wants to use the pants or even other stuff then whatever, just remember the object, no attention gained from the inappropriate gifts.

Inappropriate gifts like this have strings attached usually and the strings are forgiveness without her having to repent or even say she is sorry.

Did I read correctly that the gifts in this box are for your husband and child only? what about gifts for you? not that you are looking for gifts, that is not the point (If I am reading this correctly about who the gifts are for) but is giving gifts to everyone except you not simply another way of your MIL playing "lets pretend DIL does not exist"? If I got that right, is that possibly being reacted to as well. If that what she did then excluding you is very much for a reaction.

You would also be reacting to betrayal of your husband to some degree for him accepting you being not included, he is accepting her pretending that you don't exist.

When my MIL would wait specifically for me to be gone to come over my husband pointed out to her that she is not treating us like a family when she does that.

Your MIL is not respecting your marriage at all if this is the case.



Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: barelythere on August 24, 2010, 05:51:18 PM
The object of the black holing is lack of attention to something not appropriate,  so if your husband wants to use the pants or even other stuff then whatever, just remember the object, no attention gained from the inappropriate gifts.

Inappropriate gifts like this have strings attached usually and the strings are forgiveness without her having to repent or even say she is sorry.

Did I read correctly that the gifts in this box are for your husband and child only? what about gifts for you? not that you are looking for gifts, that is not the point (If I am reading this correctly about who the gifts are for) but is giving gifts to everyone except you not simply another way of your MIL playing "lets pretend DIL does not exist"? If I got that right, is that possibly being reacted to as well. If that what she did then excluding you is very much for a reaction.

You would also be reacting to betrayal of your husband to some degree for him accepting you being not included, he is accepting her pretending that you don't exist.

When my MIL would wait specifically for me to be gone to come over my husband pointed out to her that she is not treating us like a family when she does that.

Your MIL is not respecting your marriage at all if this is the case.

Wait, so if the MIL sends gifts to include the wife, she's respecting the marriage?
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: miss_priss on August 24, 2010, 06:59:35 PM
I understand what you're saying.  And you read it correctly, the gifts are for DH and DD.  There's nothing in there for me.  Which is ok, I stopped accepting her gifts long before DH did, and long before DD came along.  I realized very long ago what her gifts meant.  She used to write me checks for birthdays & Christmas and I just wouldn't cash them.  She was very offended by that, and she confronted me about it.  I told her very honestly that her gifts came with a price tag I just wasn't willing to pay.  That was the end of her gifts to me.  After that, her gifts to DH (and now DD) just got more and more extravagant.  And you are probably right.  My guess is she thinks she's "rubbing my nose in it" by making me watch my loved ones get big gifts from her, and it is just her way of further excluding me.  Meh, whatever helps her sleep at night.

The part about me resenting DH's accepting her excluding me...well, you're right on there.  I do.  I always have.  But that's something we are working through in couples counseling.  Resentment is a hard obstacle to overcome for sure, but we're getting there.  And I feel like this gift was designed to be a "wrench" in all of the work we've put into repairing our relationship and getting on without her.             
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: Pen on August 24, 2010, 08:03:38 PM
The gift thing is so stressful. DIL has finally accepted and thanked us for a gift, and it was a truly nice one. However, she still gives me cheap, thoughtless presents.

We don't bribe or or give gifts with strings, we just want to give her a gift that is equal in value to those of DS & DD. Her thoughtlessness does hurt, but I know she's that way going in.

She is weird about our gifts because she doesn't like us. If you remember junior high, you'll remember how hard it was to accept a piece of paper from the loser kid in class, like it had cooties or made it seem as if you liked him, heaven forbid. That's how I feel - like I have cooties.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: miss_priss on August 25, 2010, 06:35:29 AM
Pen - I semi-understand your thoughts on gifting.  I probably don't fully understand because I was raised in a nearly "no-gift" environment.  Most of my family barely gets by financially and can't afford gifts.  The ones who CAN afford gifts understand the awkwardness of the ones who can't afford it, so they never did push gifts on the less-fortunate ones.  So, basically the only time we ever got any kind of gift was on Christmas or your birthday...and even then we never received very expensive gifts.  What we did all have was love, understanding, and respect for one another.  As an adult, now, I thank God that I learned to give gifts DAILY, the gift of being there and loving my siblings, parents, and extended family.  Simply put, we just didn't need gifts to show love and appreciation, and while we occasionally have our little "tiffs," we are a very tight-knit and close happy family. 

BUT, I understand that not all families are like that.  Some families need to gift in order to show that love and appreciation.  In my DH's family, gifts fly back and forth like stones being thrown, and someone always has something to say about a gift that someone else got that was better than the gift they got, or someone got a gift for their birthday, but their brother didn't get one and he was mad...on and on and on.  And the theme of "gifts in lieu of apology" runs rampant.  Issues never get resolved, they just get swept under the rug once a gift is given...but the issues always seem to make an appearance later, because they never get truly resolved.  His family is unlike anything I've ever seen in my life, even on television.  I try to be understanding of that for my DH, without getting sucked into it myself.  That's where MIL takes offense....well, its just one of the hundreds of issues she has with me!  LOL!

I guess what I'm saying Pen, is that I can relate somewhat to your DIL.  It is very VERY awkward to get a gift from someone you know despises you.  What do you say?  Thanks?  "Thanks for making me feel awkward, because everyone in the room knows you hate me?"  It's not just awkward for the receiver, it's awkward for everyone there, and IMHO, it makes the gift-giver look like a passive-aggressive fool.  "Awwwwwww....she's just trying to be nice," when just yesterday the gift-giver was telling all her online friends what an awful troll her DIL is.  Sorry, I just don't want those gifts.           

For me, the nicest, best gift my MIL could give me would be to just be nice, act like an adult, act civil towards me, respect my "space" and privacy, and keep her snarky comments to herself.  In general, just being a good, reasonable, normal person would be the best gift she could give me.  An even nicer gift would be for her to get a psych evaluation, treatment, and medication.  It would be a pretty good gift for DH and DD too, much better than some work pants and new fancy clothes.   
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: Pen on August 25, 2010, 10:27:53 PM
Miss_Priss, whoa! Hold on a minute!

First of all, no one said I was giving gifts other than b-day or Christmas. I definitely do not gift my family at anytime other than those occasions. We don't have unlimited resources either, never have. Her FOO is shopping/gift crazed, not ours.

Second, I never said I despised DIL. She is the one who despises me. Please slow down when reading my posts! I feel as if my point gets lost.
My point was this: Since she does not like me, she doesn't want to accept anything from me, not that I despise her.

I am not your MIL. I've been nothing but gracious and welcoming to a young woman who out of the blue announced to DS that she hates me & DH, for no reason (by her own admission.) I've complimented her many times here and always to my friends and family - she's beautiful, intelligent, ambitious, focused, organized....and dislikes me. The only negative thing I've ever said, and only here, is regarding her "cut DS from the herd" behavior. Until she started that, DH & I thought she was wonderful.

Read more carefully, please. I am being very clear.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: mamacita on September 05, 2010, 04:35:31 PM
I don't think there's anything wrong with a husband "cleaving" to his wife.  But, I've never known it to biblically mean to cut mom (or dad, or siblings) out of the picture.  How many women who feel so strongly about their MIL "leaving" will do the same with their father (or their mother, siblings)?  Besides, I don't believe anybody needs to be cut out of a picture - rather, the picture needs "retouching," with love and gentleness.  And, so what if mom has concerns of being abandoned?  Maybe dad does, too!  Since when is it a crime to take care of your parents?  I've known more than one DIL that did it with love!  It's foolish, and selfish, to think that once you marry, you don't ever have to associate with other family members, and if they don't do exactly as you want, when you want, you'll "modify" their behavior by keeping grandchildren, or their own child, away.  If the shoe was on the other foot and a man did this, I think it's safe to say he would be considered "abusive."  All too often I've come across comments from DIL (usually still young - in their 20's or 30's) that are sometimes so caustic I automatically feel for their mothers-in-law (and their husbands, as well as other family members).  Sure, some MIL can be difficult, and sometimes no matter what you do, they're on a mission to put a wedge in between their son and DIL.  Most MIL I know, though, try very hard to form a good relationship with their DIL.  Nobody is perfect!  A DIL that has any amount of maturity will note her MIL is trying!  Give her credit!  Believe me, the ones that aren't, aren't doing anybody a favor.  They don't realize how much damage they're doing until they grow up, and become MIL themselves, and the tables are turned.  Then they realize they've made a bed of nails for themselves.  Nobody is a winner in these situations. 
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: barelythere on September 05, 2010, 05:04:48 PM
I don't think there's anything wrong with a husband "cleaving" to his wife.  But, I've never known it to biblically mean to cut mom (or dad, or siblings) out of the picture.  How many women who feel so strongly about their MIL "leaving" will do the same with their father (or their mother, siblings)?  Besides, I don't believe anybody needs to be cut out of a picture - rather, the picture needs "retouching," with love and gentleness.  And, so what if mom has concerns of being abandoned?  Maybe dad does, too!  Since when is it a crime to take care of your parents?  I've known more than one DIL that did it with love!  It's foolish, and selfish, to think that once you marry, you don't ever have to associate with other family members, and if they don't do exactly as you want, when you want, you'll "modify" their behavior by keeping grandchildren, or their own child, away.  If the shoe was on the other foot and a man did this, I think it's safe to say he would be considered "abusive."  All too often I've come across comments from DIL (usually still young - in their 20's or 30's) that are sometimes so caustic I automatically feel for their mothers-in-law (and their husbands, as well as other family members).  Sure, some MIL can be difficult, and sometimes no matter what you do, they're on a mission to put a wedge in between their son and DIL.  Most MIL I know, though, try very hard to form a good relationship with their DIL.  Nobody is perfect!  A DIL that has any amount of maturity will note her MIL is trying!  Give her credit!  Believe me, the ones that aren't, aren't doing anybody a favor.  They don't realize how much damage they're doing until they grow up, and become MIL themselves, and the tables are turned.  Then they realize they've made a bed of nails for themselves.  Nobody is a winner in these situations.


We don't know each other but I'd like to applaud you.  The heartache that's dished out on us is pretty awful but we've got to grow up and get over it. It's hard to be the object of jealousy.  I hope no one here gets a dish full of it.  It will make you think you're losing your mind.  Some of the people are caustic but I guess that's our problem too?  I know this will wind around and come back to them oneday but it will be worse.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: Nana on September 06, 2010, 11:47:14 PM
Good post Mamacita....

If only some dil's would give mils a chance.   Sometimes it is not personal.....it is like mil have been labeled in general terms.  I would tell these young women..... dont push me out before giving me a chance.  I am all for dil's that build walls towards an intruding, selfish, disrespectful mother in law.   But please girls, have compassion for us mil's that really want to be part of your life in a healthy loving way.


Cheers


Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: cremebrulee on September 07, 2010, 04:36:47 AM
Quote
barelythere
 Some of the people are caustic but I guess that's our problem too?  I know this will wind around and come back to them oneday but it will be worse.


It very well may wind around and come back to them, however, it surely doesn't exclued the heartache many of you are experiencing now....

Yes, for now, you and others here may have to accept it, basically that is the only way to survive this...b/c it's out of your control...there is nothing you can do, however, a DIL, or MIL, who cuts off they're spouces family, well, it's a very self imposed and wrongful doing...
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: cremebrulee on September 07, 2010, 04:37:22 AM
Good post Mamacita....

If only some dil's would give mils a chance.   Sometimes it is not personal.....it is like mil have been labeled in general terms.  I would tell these young women..... dont push me out before giving me a chance.  I am all for dil's that build walls towards an intruding, selfish, disrespectful mother in law.   But please girls, have compassion for us mil's that really want to be part of your life in a healthy loving way.


Cheers

Well said, Nana
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: cremebrulee on September 07, 2010, 04:40:48 AM
I don't think there's anything wrong with a husband "cleaving" to his wife.  But, I've never known it to biblically mean to cut mom (or dad, or siblings) out of the picture.  How many women who feel so strongly about their MIL "leaving" will do the same with their father (or their mother, siblings)?  Besides, I don't believe anybody needs to be cut out of a picture - rather, the picture needs "retouching," with love and gentleness.  And, so what if mom has concerns of being abandoned?  Maybe dad does, too!  Since when is it a crime to take care of your parents?  I've known more than one DIL that did it with love!  It's foolish, and selfish, to think that once you marry, you don't ever have to associate with other family members, and if they don't do exactly as you want, when you want, you'll "modify" their behavior by keeping grandchildren, or their own child, away.  If the shoe was on the other foot and a man did this, I think it's safe to say he would be considered "abusive."  All too often I've come across comments from DIL (usually still young - in their 20's or 30's) that are sometimes so caustic I automatically feel for their mothers-in-law (and their husbands, as well as other family members).  Sure, some MIL can be difficult, and sometimes no matter what you do, they're on a mission to put a wedge in between their son and DIL.  Most MIL I know, though, try very hard to form a good relationship with their DIL.  Nobody is perfect!  A DIL that has any amount of maturity will note her MIL is trying!  Give her credit!  Believe me, the ones that aren't, aren't doing anybody a favor.  They don't realize how much damage they're doing until they grow up, and become MIL themselves, and the tables are turned.  Then they realize they've made a bed of nails for themselves.  Nobody is a winner in these situations.

Welcome and thank you for a very wise post....
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: barelythere on September 07, 2010, 04:45:51 AM
Quote
barelythere
 Some of the people are caustic but I guess that's our problem too?  I know this will wind around and come back to them oneday but it will be worse.


It very well may wind around and come back to them, however, it surely doesn't exclued the heartache many of you are experiencing now....

Yes, for now, you and others here may have to accept it, basically that is the only way to survive this...b/c it's out of your control...there is nothing you can do, however, a DIL, or MIL, who cuts off they're spouces family, well, it's a very self imposed and wrongful doing...

It brings a Mother to the point of no return when a DIL cuts off their spouse's family. I have not seen it happen for good reason but that's just me. I have to say something again here: guilt and shame are rarely seen today. I wonder if I had known what kind of DIL mine would have become if I would have stepped in to put roadblocks up for my son before he married her?  I think, "yes".  No woman treats her inlaws like this unless they are a bad seed. Just my 2 cents.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: cremebrulee on September 07, 2010, 05:02:32 AM
Quote
barelythere
 Some of the people are caustic but I guess that's our problem too?  I know this will wind around and come back to them oneday but it will be worse.


It very well may wind around and come back to them, however, it surely doesn't exclued the heartache many of you are experiencing now....

Yes, for now, you and others here may have to accept it, basically that is the only way to survive this...b/c it's out of your control...there is nothing you can do, however, a DIL, or MIL, who cuts off they're spouces family, well, it's a very self imposed and wrongful doing...

It brings a Mother to the point of no return when a DIL cuts off their spouse's family. I have not seen it happen for good reason but that's just me. I have to say something again here: guilt and shame are rarely seen today. I wonder if I had known what kind of DIL mine would have become if I would have stepped in to put roadblocks up for my son before he married her?  I think, "yes".  No woman treats her inlaws like this unless they are a bad seed. Just my 2 cents.

Good Morning...yes, you very well might have said something to son, however, if he loved her, he would have been very angry with you, it would have turned him against you, b/c you were not accepting the love of his life....

When my 3rd step father married my mother, I was going to go and tell him how bad she was...that she was only showing a good side of her self until she caught him....however, my husband wouldn't allow me to do it...and I listened...after it was all over, and he left her, he called me and told me his side of the story (I think he feared me being her daughter, wouldn't believe him)  He said like he felt he was trapped in a prison...and going crazy....and asked me why I didn't tell him before he married her, how bad she was? 

I asked him...."would you have believed me then?"  He thought about it for a moment and replied....probably not, and I probably would have thought a whole lot less then you.

So my perception here is, it's best to let life play out for those we love...b/c it's they're choice, and to disapprove of they're choice, to them, seems at the time, very heartless, cruel and manipulative...so actually, it's good it didn't play out that way....you might be a whole lot more worse off....

I know we tend to replay replay replay and think of situations like this, but the sooner we can move on, the better we will be for it and be able to handle the situation more maturely with less thought about ourselves, and more thought to everyone concerned.

When we make decissions, it's best to  think about the consequences our decissions will weigh on everyone concerned...our husbands, children, grand children....even before we speak...it's human nature to hurt and we think we hate, but it's not the person we hate, we hate the situation that is happening, and we hate what it's made us...bascially, if all of us, were able to work things out with the one that is causing us problems...not only would we be perfectly agreeable, but forgive and forget....

I believe that, b/c all the ladies who come here, are not hateful, they're  hurt...and want more then anything else, to be able to work things out...if they didn't, if you didn't, you wouldn't be here. 

big hugs
creme
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: miss_priss on September 07, 2010, 06:33:15 AM
Quote
I don't think there's anything wrong with a husband "cleaving" to his wife.  But, I've never known it to biblically mean to cut mom (or dad, or siblings) out of the picture.  How many women who feel so strongly about their MIL "leaving" will do the same with their father (or their mother, siblings)?  Besides, I don't believe anybody needs to be cut out of a picture - rather, the picture needs "retouching," with love and gentleness.  And, so what if mom has concerns of being abandoned?  Maybe dad does, too!  Since when is it a crime to take care of your parents?  I've known more than one DIL that did it with love!  It's foolish, and selfish, to think that once you marry, you don't ever have to associate with other family members, and if they don't do exactly as you want, when you want, you'll "modify" their behavior by keeping grandchildren, or their own child, away.  If the shoe was on the other foot and a man did this, I think it's safe to say he would be considered "abusive."  All too often I've come across comments from DIL (usually still young - in their 20's or 30's) that are sometimes so caustic I automatically feel for their mothers-in-law (and their husbands, as well as other family members).  Sure, some MIL can be difficult, and sometimes no matter what you do, they're on a mission to put a wedge in between their son and DIL.  Most MIL I know, though, try very hard to form a good relationship with their DIL.  Nobody is perfect!  A DIL that has any amount of maturity will note her MIL is trying!  Give her credit!  Believe me, the ones that aren't, aren't doing anybody a favor.  They don't realize how much damage they're doing until they grow up, and become MIL themselves, and the tables are turned.  Then they realize they've made a bed of nails for themselves.  Nobody is a winner in these situations.
 

Good post Mamacita - I agree with you, that MILs, in general terms, shouldn't be completely cut out of the picture.  However, there are DILs right here on this forum who will tell you that the problems in their marriages began simply because either 1) MIL never let son completely leave the nest, or 2) son didn't know how or didn't want to leave the nest. 

I think we need to all get past being bunched into like piles.  DILs are on this site because of problem MILs, and likewise for MILs.  When I make a statement about my MIL, I don't state, nor do I imply, that all MILs are like her (God help us if they are).  I think it's safe to say that most MILs have no issue "allowing" their sons and daughters the right to choose whom they marry.....but let's face it, those good MILs are not why we DILs are here.  It works the same way for MILs.  When a MIL in despair posts about her awful DIL, I don't assume she is grouping me in that category.  True understanding is when we are able to, at the very least, hear and empathize with both sides. 

My reasoning for this post was not to bash MILs accross the board, but it's clear by reading through this thread that many took some serious offense to it when they don't even fit in the category.  Which is ok, we have "evolved" (or de-evolved, in my opinion) into an ever-offended society.  I'm sure someone will be offended by that statement in itself!

But I think it's safe to say that as the human race has "evolved" and society has grown to its modern-day proportion, we as a society have "left" God's word behind for other teachings that make more sense to us, that fit in better with our lifestyle, and some have discarded spirituality altogether because it's simply too "offensive" to so many. 

For a son to "leave his mother and cleave unto his wife" doesn't and shouldn't mean that the son's FOO should be absolutely cut off, and anyone who reads it that way, I believe, is really taking it to extremes.  What it DOES mean, is that son's #1 priority as an adult should be his wife and children.  You're absolutely right, MIL should have a place in her DS's life, always!  However, in my case and if you'll keep reading, MANY DIL's cases here, MIL thinks that her place is IN the marriage, and that her relationship with her son should be that of a quasi-husband.  If you don't fit in that category, then good for you, and good for your DIL! 
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: luise.volta on September 07, 2010, 06:35:48 AM
And always remember that we are Wise Women. For every MIL who is wronged without being given a chance...there is a loving, willing DIL who is treated badly without being given a chance. Pathology can exist at either end of the spectrum. That's why I changed the name of our Forum from MILs Unite to Wise Women Unite.

Where there is judgment...balance can't exist.

Sending love...
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: luise.volta on September 07, 2010, 06:37:57 AM
Miss U - We were typing at the same time and saying the same thing... 8)
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: pam1 on September 07, 2010, 07:50:37 AM
Quote
I don't think there's anything wrong with a husband "cleaving" to his wife.  But, I've never known it to biblically mean to cut mom (or dad, or siblings) out of the picture.  How many women who feel so strongly about their MIL "leaving" will do the same with their father (or their mother, siblings)?  Besides, I don't believe anybody needs to be cut out of a picture - rather, the picture needs "retouching," with love and gentleness.  And, so what if mom has concerns of being abandoned?  Maybe dad does, too!  Since when is it a crime to take care of your parents?  I've known more than one DIL that did it with love!  It's foolish, and selfish, to think that once you marry, you don't ever have to associate with other family members, and if they don't do exactly as you want, when you want, you'll "modify" their behavior by keeping grandchildren, or their own child, away.  If the shoe was on the other foot and a man did this, I think it's safe to say he would be considered "abusive."  All too often I've come across comments from DIL (usually still young - in their 20's or 30's) that are sometimes so caustic I automatically feel for their mothers-in-law (and their husbands, as well as other family members).  Sure, some MIL can be difficult, and sometimes no matter what you do, they're on a mission to put a wedge in between their son and DIL.  Most MIL I know, though, try very hard to form a good relationship with their DIL.  Nobody is perfect!  A DIL that has any amount of maturity will note her MIL is trying!  Give her credit!  Believe me, the ones that aren't, aren't doing anybody a favor.  They don't realize how much damage they're doing until they grow up, and become MIL themselves, and the tables are turned.  Then they realize they've made a bed of nails for themselves.  Nobody is a winner in these situations.
 

Good post Mamacita - I agree with you, that MILs, in general terms, shouldn't be completely cut out of the picture.  However, there are DILs right here on this forum who will tell you that the problems in their marriages began simply because either 1) MIL never let son completely leave the nest, or 2) son didn't know how or didn't want to leave the nest. 

I think we need to all get past being bunched into like piles.  DILs are on this site because of problem MILs, and likewise for MILs.  When I make a statement about my MIL, I don't state, nor do I imply, that all MILs are like her (God help us if they are).  I think it's safe to say that most MILs have no issue "allowing" their sons and daughters the right to choose whom they marry.....but let's face it, those good MILs are not why we DILs are here.  It works the same way for MILs.  When a MIL in despair posts about her awful DIL, I don't assume she is grouping me in that category.  True understanding is when we are able to, at the very least, hear and empathize with both sides. 

My reasoning for this post was not to bash MILs accross the board, but it's clear by reading through this thread that many took some serious offense to it when they don't even fit in the category.  Which is ok, we have "evolved" (or de-evolved, in my opinion) into an ever-offended society.  I'm sure someone will be offended by that statement in itself!

But I think it's safe to say that as the human race has "evolved" and society has grown to its modern-day proportion, we as a society have "left" God's word behind for other teachings that make more sense to us, that fit in better with our lifestyle, and some have discarded spirituality altogether because it's simply too "offensive" to so many. 

For a son to "leave his mother and cleave unto his wife" doesn't and shouldn't mean that the son's FOO should be absolutely cut off, and anyone who reads it that way, I believe, is really taking it to extremes.  What it DOES mean, is that son's #1 priority as an adult should be his wife and children.  You're absolutely right, MIL should have a place in her DS's life, always!  However, in my case and if you'll keep reading, MANY DIL's cases here, MIL thinks that her place is IN the marriage, and that her relationship with her son should be that of a quasi-husband.  If you don't fit in that category, then good for you, and good for your DIL!

Well said, Miss Priss.

DH and I had a conversation last night that I thought was pretty eye-opening and I thought a lot of the women could relate to this here.  In many of the situations that have happened with my in laws it's always boiled down to "that's just how they are!" in reference to whatever happened with who.  Over time I've heard the "that's just how they are!" to excuse hurtful things that anyone would take great offense to.  The resentment from being on the receiving end of bad behavior for so long b/c of "how someone is" builds and builds and builds until it starts to become irreparable.  Small things become big things, words are taken out of context, behaviors are scrutinized for any negative attribute.  It is an unhealthy and at times, nasty relationship for anyone to deal with.

When one side is not willing to modify their behavior, even in the face of consequences or hurt feelings of the other party just to claim their "right" on moral grounds....well, they've already lost.  They lost their intended audience and the lost the meaning of what a real true and loving relationship is.

I think for MIL's it can especially painful b/c some DIL's never intended on developing a relationship from the get go.  And some DIL's really hoped and worked to nurture a relationship that is painful to them.  It can be vicious for all parties.

Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: luise.volta on September 07, 2010, 09:14:47 AM
"That's how they are", to me, means we can't change "how they are." That doesn't have to mean that we condone it or like it. Who would? Not me! We learn to accept it for survival reasons, since we can't change it. We do it for us.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: mamacita on September 07, 2010, 09:52:25 AM
miss-priss - I agree with you.  I hope my response didn't come across as though I was lumping people into piles.  As said, I've known more than one DIL who has taken care of her husband's family with love.  There are always MIL and DIL that don't fit the horrific stereotype that has been around for God knows how long.  Biblically, we know of Ruth and Naomi.  As for the ones that don't have that type of relationship....sure there are some MIL that can cause problems, but I don't think it's meant to be confused with MIL that are sincerely trying to help their child (and/or DIL or SIL).  Some of the in-laws are so touchy, though, that anything you say, don't say, do, don't do is viewed in the most negative light, and taken as an offense.  As Pam1 wrote, some in-laws (whether it be a MIL or DIL) never intended on developing a relationship from the get-go, and anything (in their mind) serves as justification.  Unbelievably sad. 
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: GreatWhiteNorth on September 08, 2010, 03:34:06 AM
I agree with everyone and see the value in each post, in each opinion and from each side of the story.

I live beside a wonderful woman, she is a MIL who is being treated badly by her DIL. This lady takes care of the 4 DILs kids for free, all the time and she never ever gets a day off. I always know when she has a day off because the night before there is the DIL dropping off her kids for the night and next day. Last summer they were over all the time and this summer this MIL seems to have been cut off or something. So she is there for them but yet I never see either her or her husband help her in any way. Her son came over once to help her trim her hedge and I have never seen them again all summer.

I would give my eye teeth to have this wonderful woman as my MIL or even as part of the family. She knows she can count on us and my husband always goes over and helps her, with her TV if it is not working, he will look at her car if it is running badly and I don't mind one bit.

This is normal to me and it is kindness.....

But my MIL on the other hand is simply an abuser (which has nothing to do with her title as MIL whatsoever- that is simply how she effects me in particular). My MIL dangles her enormous bank account infront of her sons, manipulates with it. My MIL is not just looking for help here and there and to be taken care of the normal way that one would find an elder needs care. My MIL wants to be served.

Do you know that my MIL thinks of her sons as possessions, they are tools to her. The tool has a name called "her boys". MIL has lamented about why she should allow others to use her "tools" in the past, they are her tools that MIL apparently deserves to have because she has "earned" it....she has said this alot.  MILs problem is that she views her sons as tools only, not as people.

My MIL is entitled, she wants to come first before the wife, before the kids, she wants a manservant from her son period even though MIL is a physically strong woman with more then ample resources to take care of herself. MIL has crossed this line to exploitation who throws temper tantrums when she is not placed first or if someone has the oddosity to say "no" to this extremely entitled and arrogant woman. Saying "no" to her means she launches war on the DIL that she blames for the situation.

So I am dealing with an abuser period as some MILs are dealing with abusers in their DILs. These are simply the titles they have that relate to us and how they effect us in particular.

Pathology can exist from either side of the spectrum, Louise is absolutely right and I think it is great to have a board where MILs and DILs come to talk about the situation, to see both ends. A badly treated MIL or a badly treated DIL. It shows growth and it moves away from the mentality of "all MILs(or DILs) are evil" or " when a MIL (or DIL) is spoken about it means all MILs or DILs" and I have seen posters take this stance and get extremely hurt over hearing of an abusive MIL thinking it applies to her or all MILs. We are talking about abusive behavior period, it is important to remember that.

Just my two cents.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: Pen on September 08, 2010, 08:48:40 AM
Great post, GWN! Sometimes our emotions are running high, for both DILs/MILs, and we take things personally (I know, I've done that.) I agree that we should try not to feel criticized when someone is talking about their own situation. It's also important to not criticize someone here due to one's own issues.

Just because a MIL/DIL we're dealing with is a certain way, it doesn't mean the posters here are the same. I know I have taken it personally when posters have mentioned "red flags" or "suspicions" over something an MIL here has said, as if their situation couldn't possibly be what they say it is.

Helpful, supportive comments are always appreciated, but having our honesty questioned is as unproductive as getting our knickers in a twist over some imagined criticism.

This site is amazing and I hope we can always be a source of hope, support and kindness for all DILs and MILs who are working at overcoming difficult situations.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: Sunny1 on September 08, 2010, 09:13:03 AM
I have to start by saying that I too agree with everyone’s posts and am so thankful for this site. I know that after all that I've been thru with my MIL, I can be defensive and untrusting of others. Feelings are difficult to deal with on either side and trying to put everyones feelings into perspective is a daunting task at times, I hope that I don't hurt anyone's feelings or step on anyone's toes; that's never my intention. Id like to think that we are all here to explore, learn, and vent....or whatever else that we may need. Each and every person on here seems to be invaluable.

And GWN –I also want to ensure that I'm not giving the impression that your neighbor is at all like my MIL, or that your intentions are anything but honest, but rather that there are always two sides to a story and sometimes “looks” can be very deceiving.
 
My MIL is that woman who always dresses impeccably. She is always very, very involved in her church and “doing good deeds,” always gives off that impression that she is a perfect person and her family is perfect too. I had known her (not well though) for years before DH and I dated because we had all gone to church together. I even knew quite a few members of DH’s extended family thru church, including his maternal uncle and grandparents; all of whom I knew much better than DH’s parents before we began to date. I wasn't raised as a Christian, (I was a C & E Churchgoer growing up) so I think I might have been rather naive about Christians when I started to go on my own as a newly divorced single mom.

I never questioned at the time that it happened, about why DH’s immediate family left our church; and (surprisingly) DH, his grandparents and uncle's family all stayed, but maybe I should have. However, I'm sure I would have heard some story that put MIL in a victim's role, or I just plain wouldn't have gotten the truth at all. His family is rather tight-lipped about their imperfections and I've since seen that in their eyes, they are always right, and everyone else is inferior to them and wrong. They are more worried about putting on the impression that their family is THE perfect nuclear family. So yes, they are there to help out a neighbor, volunteer at church or other functions or just to pull off the perfect party, and as this thread even discussed before, my MIL will send lavish gifts in lieu of an apology too; anything to show that they're doing the right thing but never humbling themselves to true repentance. I have genuinely never met a more intelligently conniving, manipulative, and arrogantly hypocritical person in my life than my MIL.

It's truly narcissism at its worst. It's so sad that it's taken years for my DH to see what he’s been a victim of for his entire life. And even worse, his sis has been put on a pedestal and has been raised to be just as entitled as her mother. If SIL has children and becomes a MIL someday, I'm sure the cycle will continue. I already pity the poor woman that may become my SIL’s DIL someday, and because we've had to cutoff DH’s family, I'm not aware of what SIL’s relationship is like with her DH’s family; but I'm willing to bet that she's the difficult DIL that some of you MIL’s are having to deal with.

To me this has all been a near culture shock. Although I am in that 30-something generation that has been generally viewed as being entitled, I was raised in a single income lower-middle-class nuclear family; raised to be thankful for what I had and to be honest and respectful towards others; all things that I naively expected even more so from a mature Christian family.

I couldn't imagine what it must be like living with the mindset of its how WE are, when it's all fake and just for show. Essentially, living a lie.

 I know that there are Mil's and DIL's alike who are dealing with this on this site, so I want to add that I in no way think that all MIL’s are like mine and there just as many DIL’s that are difficult too. So, that said,  I can't help but take pity all of the difficult MIL’s and DIL’s, they must truly be miserable people somewhere inside of their fake, hardened shells in order to behave in such heinous ways toward others.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: mamacita on September 11, 2010, 11:04:24 PM
I don't wish to ruffle any feathers, but some things seem to be standing out.  For instance, the church-going MIL.  I'm uncomfortable with the post about her, and the family.  Grant you, I'm not there, and maybe she's as manipulative as was said...but I question it.  Food for thought...and I don't mean this to be unkind.  But, it seems a lot of people that have come from broken homes repeat the pattern in their adult life.  It isn't necessarily that they purposely set out to get into a marriage they intend to end, but rather, I think people repeat the self-defeating behaviors they witnessed as children.  The language of some of the posts...they speak of abuse (which, when I was younger meant you were actually being hit, or being treated nearly as badly as a POW), manipulation, arrogance, etc.  What seems to be the cure (at least, the one I read of)?  Cutting off one's family!  In other words, continued divorce, of sorts.  It's not a solution.  It's a reaction, and a poor one at that.  Rather than stick things out - even if the person really isn't the kindest person on the planet, but also not Hitler - they're cast off.  When does this cycle end?  Because, quite frankly, some of the things I've read (typically from DIL, usually in their 20's and 30's) concern me deeply.  Eventually DIL become MIL.  It would be extremely naive to think the friction you're feeling won't happen to you.  Yes, it will be different - and I believe it will be worse...it'll snowball.  Part of that feeling was confirmed when reading a particular "Annie's Mailbox" letter from a woman who was once a DIL and said/did some pretty awful things - similar to what I've read (I've read stuff on other forums).  Then she became a MIL.  Talk about a new perspective - and REGRET! 
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: cremebrulee on September 12, 2010, 04:44:42 AM
yes, we all do things when we are young for many reasons....everyone has reasons for doing things...and I do believe we continue the patterns throughout adulthood, if we are unaware and refuse to see the other side of the spectrum...I know all mil's and dil's are not in trouble, b/c I have many friends and acquantances who love they're dil's and mil's and get along just fine...

I also have to add to Pen...I do know how you feel, when you say, someone is questioning your honesty...I felt that way when my son would go round and round for hours on the phone, and I'd tell him my side of the story, and he'd say, no, she didn't mean it that way, and I'd be horrified, thinking that he was saying I was lying about the situation...That tore me apart...but it tore me apart, b/c I was only able to see things from my perspectives...he was doing the same thing with his wife, and it hurt her awful...she also thought he was siding with me, against her..and that wasn't and isn't the case...it's just when we're hurting, and feel lost, we are unable to sometimes see things  in any other way but our own...and when I asked for help, I wasn't able to really listen, all I wanted was validation for my feelings...didn't realize, then, that there was another perspective on this.

Yanno what I wish...and it's never going to happen, but human beings get into trouble with each other b/c they don't talk, they're afraid to say to someone else, "you did this to hurt my feelings"....and if they would be able to say that right from the beginning, instead of hiding, it, it would surely help matters.  But, when my son said to me, "you hurt DIL's feelings b/c you refused to eat breakfast".  Well, I was so engrossed in my own pain, that all I heard him say to me was, "YOU WERE WRONG"...and he wasn't saying that...what he was saying was, there was no wrong or right, I hurt her feelings...but I wouldn't even consider that fact...I wasn't able to....I wasn't wrong, she wasn't right, or I wasn't right she wasn't wrong....but that very small thing, hurt her, b/c even though my son told her, that I don't eat breakfast...she didn't hear that, all she wanted to do was make a good impression so she went out and bought all kinds of things for me, for me, to please me, and I rejected her gift...rejection comes in many forms....in words, actions, refusals, etc....so, after that, nothing either one of us would do, would be right, and everything she did, I perceived as being done to hurt me, to drive a wedge between my son and self, so she could have him all to herself...but she wasn't...she was simply being who she was, which is the only way she knew how to be.

I know think of any DIL who agrees to marry a son...and I'm not talking about the mean, selfish dysfuncational DIL....but can you imagine how frightened she is...by saying yes, to the man she loves, she is also saying yes to his family...and I can't imagine how alone and afraid she must be....when a DIL marry's a son, the reason why so many DIL's are so scared is, she is afraid that she might say one thing that would offend her new MIL, and if  that MIL is used to being in control and very very steadfast about her personal moral and political institutions, can you see, where one thing said, might stir up the apple cart...and that MIL, thinks the girl is being disrespectful?  She isn't, really, she's just being herself...

When someone says, that's the way they are, they are accepting that person the way they are, b/c they know, people don't change...it doesn't mean, they are accepting that person's behavior. 

You can't continue to cut people out of your life, b/c they're thoughts and beliefs don't agree with our own.  It doesn't mean you should allow people to walk all over you, use you for a door mat, or be abusive or neglect to respect your personal boundaries...however, there are some things that you simply must ignore and aren't nearly as important.  And we all feel differently about situations...You've read many times, where we've written, well I would do it this way or that...doesn't mean, your wrong, what it means is, that person is seeing things in a different perspective and to me, I always consider that it might be to my advantage to listen...I can in my own mind sort out what works for me, and what doesn't, however, in my own personal life, I have applied many suggestions made here to try them on and see if they fit.

Just b/c I just started a new relationship with my DIL, doesn't mean, well, it's all better, end of story...it's hard work, and I'm still afraid...and she is to...but we're working at it...it doesn't happen over night...it takes a whole lot of time, to get to know one another and I now realize, she isn't going to automatically say to herself...well, I feel like I've known her all my life, and now she's calling me mom....no sir, it's going to take so much longer, to learn to trust each other and work at it together....I love her, and I know all you love your DIL's....what you don't like about her is her behavior...doesn't mean you hate her, you hate her behavior, and most of all, the rejection...rejection is sorely painful...

We all want to be liked and want to be accepted...and when we are forced together in situations like this...we have no choice...but to accept each other the best we can. 

However, there are some women here who are wrongly accussed, and wrongly treated, be you MIL or DIL...so please, when someone else is posting, please try and understanding, they are not accusing you or saying your wrong...they are only trying to help you see things from another perspective so that, if you understand why the person is doing the things she's doing, maybe that will help you get around it and help fix things....

I didn't like what I thought my DIL was doing, so, I kept telling myself...well, she had some very bad childhood  experiences...and a lot of things she's doing she might be doing out of pattern behavior, out of habit, and not against me, b/c it's all she knows, and she surely can't be like me or think like me...b/c we're both different.

I was a mil and a DIL...and when my MIL would interfer it drove me nuts...and I'm not saying anyone here does...I'm simply writing a story about me...and I would sometimes, act out in a very nasty way...b/c it appeared to me, that she was interferring...and big time, we even went to counseling and the counselor told my husband, that he had to break away from her apron strings....she wasn't doing it to be nasty, she viewed it as helping...but it surely upset me...and that is one of the reasons I left, among many others...now, I understand, why and please know, I love her very much, and realize, while she was overly controlling, she did it out of caring and goodness...she is a strong willed woman with a whole lot of good qualities...and I will always love her for the things she taught me...however, she was overstepping boundaries...and I, was so young, and said and did things that hurt her, in defense of my postion as her son's wife. 

Time and growth, helps us see things in a whole different light...but when we're young, sometimes, we are only able to view someone's behavior, think of it as wrong, and wanting to distance ourselves from them, instead of saying to ourselves, well, that or this is a really small thing...let it roll off and ignore what isn't and learn to appreciate what is...

We all have good points and bad points in us...and I remember several people saying to me, when I was young..."if someone doesn't think or feel like I do, I view them as being bad people"....and I did...I wasn't able to look past myself...I thought the way I was raised to think and believe were the right way and the only way to be, and was horrified, if someone did something out of my realm of belief...and actually took things very personal...like if I found out something personal about someone that I didn't believe was right...well, that person was to me, very evil, wrong and not worthy.  Boy was I wrong....

So, by writing all of this, I'm trying to explain, that a lot of times, there are no right or wrong answers...and a lot of times, you girls are not wrong for feeling the way you do...we're just trying to get you to see, the other side of the coin...if you can figure out, why your DIL or MIL is the way she is, you're much more able to understand her and not take her actions as personal...against you...but more so, her problem...and your son's or husbands, could have chosen anyone, but regardless who he married, there would be no pleasing her...and DIL's, MIL's understand, it's not you, but the way she is, what she believes to be true...and when you disagree with someone like that, it's like they think your telling them, all they're upbrings is wrong....and it scares people to be wrong..b/c they think your degrading them and they're whole network of beliefs...

So, I do understand what your saying...and I'm never ever going to be right, b/c you all think differently and have different situations....but when I'm writing, I'm not saying this is directed at you specifically, I'm viewing things from my perspectives, to try and see if maybe part of what I'm saying could be applied to your situations....it doesn't mean your wrong, or that I think your wrong, it means, I'm offering to you, some suggestions...that may or may not help your situations...

Please all of us, we must keep in mind, if we're here to help and heal and do better, then we must not take each others posts as if we're saying anyone is lying...b/c everyone's situation is very real and true...however, everyone who is posting has different ideas about one situation...that you might be writing about...and just b/c they are not saying, Oh, your absolutely right about your feelings, doesn't mean that you are not...you are...now lets look at this situation from all  perspectives...and I believe there have been some very good perspective bought forth on this forum...

DIL's here really helped me to stop and think before I react, that just b/c I'm the kind of person who would call her once a week, doesn't mean, she wants me to...isn't b/c I'm wrong, or right, but I want to respect who she is...so I  won't, I need to give her space...I will never be her best friend, not that I wouldn't like to, but there is a generation gap...and I'm ultra conservative...but she likes different music, she raises her daughter different, and I want to respect those wishes, even though I do things differently and that's what is important...harmony, peace and happiness...

but believe me, I'm no where near where some of you may think I am...and may never be....but I have to understand that, and let my son go forth in his life to do what he wishes, and I'll tell you, honestly, not many women, would allow like she allows my son, even if she disagrees and doesn't want him to do things, she is able to allow him to test the waters...and that is a huge huge ability. 



Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: cremebrulee on September 12, 2010, 05:14:30 AM
When I am writing to anyone, it is not only venting, but reassuring my own self, about these things...writing like this is and can be a form of therapy...so, a lot of times, I"m not only replying to someones post, but also, reinstating them in my own mind...reinforcing them might be a better choice of words...and while sometimes, someone here may take it as if I'm talking to them, I'm simply reliving my experiences and reinforcing my very own changes in my mind...


Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: luise.volta on September 12, 2010, 09:39:53 AM
We all need to keep in mind that we take what we want here and leave the rest. What works for one person doesn't necessarily work for another...but...it might. We don't have to agree to learn and grow. Sometimes the solutions of others can tend to reinforce our own stance and help up to stick with it.

My parents were born in the 1800s. You got married (at least in their social and cultural group) and that was that. What you liked or didn't like was not the point...finishing what you started was the point and if you were literally destroyed in the process, you were lauded at your early funeral for toting that barge and lifting that bale.

The social and cultural pendulum swings. And there are endless variations of the effect it has on individuals. What I hoped to create here, was a place to think it through...a place to share experiences and place to be heard and feel supported. There is no right way to do extended families or relate to adult children...we are all snowflakes, no two of us are alike. It also isn't the forum for everyone. There is no such forum, of course.

Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: GreatWhiteNorth on September 13, 2010, 03:39:19 AM
I wanted to respond to some of these thoughts that were posted:

"It seems a lot of people that have come from broken homes repeat the pattern in their adult life.  It isn't necessarily that they purposely set out to get into a marriage they intend to end, but rather, I think people repeat the self-defeating behaviors they witnessed as children."

This is very true, I did this without even noticing it it was done on the subconscious level. But I was the family scapegoat growing up in my Family of Origin. I actually filled this role for my MIL quite naturally, did all the things a scapegoat would do and then resented being scapegoated. (not that I realized this at the time but in researching my part of the equation I can see this)

This definitely happens but where I differ from my MIL is that I am willing to take responsibility for myself, MIL on the other hand after doing things like 3 daycare abduction attempts, denying me access to my husband when in labour whilst gushing about how much love she has for us, nasty emails she wrote about me.....after all this my MIL will not even admit that she is even a little out of line. You can't even begin to work with someone like that.

"The language of some of the posts...they speak of abuse (which, when I was younger meant you were actually being hit, or being treated nearly as badly as a POW), manipulation, arrogance, etc.  What seems to be the cure (at least, the one I read of)?  Cutting off one's family!  In other words, continued divorce, of sorts. "

Some people are too quick to cut off but that is not true for everyone. I severely limited MIL contact to my children when MIL started to diagnose my 2 year old daughter with ailments that she did not have and then MIL would try and sneak medicine that she concaucted out of herbal remedies behind our backs. This is dangerous behavior, the psychological community calls it "Munchausen by Proxy". MIL also snuck our 2 year old out while we were napping at one point, we found them at the beach and MIL (who is not a good swimmer) was dipping our 2 year old (also not a good swimmer) in very deep water.

Sometimes the MIL (and I am talking about all MILs in general but my MIL happens to be a very derranged woman who refuses to get any medical attention or even try and make herself safe to be around). Sometimes the MIL is just too toxic to be around because she poses a danger to others around her.

Where does the cycle end?
For me it ends here, I do not allow MIL to abuse our children or our family anymore. MIL will not listen to boundaries, even fights for her "right" to be dysfunctional and I have in it MILs own writing that "she does not care who she offends she is not listening to our boundaries". Even the bible tells us that with people like this that you rebuke them, that is actually the biblical thing to do. That is due to my particular MILs own behavior, the natural consequences of what MIL has done to herself (even though she blames everyone else for it) with her own hand.

It ends by rebuking a person like my particular MIL and not letting her (she is like asbestos) into our home to make our family ill anymore.

"Eventually DIL become MIL.  It would be extremely naive to think the friction you're feeling won't happen to you."
Yes eventually I will become a MIL and when I do, I am going to learn what not to do from the woman that occupies the place of my MIL. I admit my wrongdoings, rather then be arrogant like my MIL....so I am not repeating MILs behavior,

So then if I am not repeating MILs behavior then why would I reap the same consequences that she has for her behavior? That is called enmeshment .

Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: cremebrulee on September 13, 2010, 04:17:25 AM
I wanted to respond to some of these thoughts that were posted:

"It seems a lot of people that have come from broken homes repeat the pattern in their adult life.  It isn't necessarily that they purposely set out to get into a marriage they intend to end, but rather, I think people repeat the self-defeating behaviors they witnessed as children."

This is very true, I did this without even noticing it it was done on the subconscious level. But I was the family scapegoat growing up in my Family of Origin. I actually filled this role for my MIL quite naturally, did all the things a scapegoat would do and then resented being scapegoated. (not that I realized this at the time but in researching my part of the equation I can see this)

This definitely happens but where I differ from my MIL is that I am willing to take responsibility for myself, MIL on the other hand after doing things like 3 daycare abduction attempts, denying me access to my husband when in labour whilst gushing about how much love she has for us, nasty emails she wrote about me.....after all this my MIL will not even admit that she is even a little out of line. You can't even begin to work with someone like that.

"The language of some of the posts...they speak of abuse (which, when I was younger meant you were actually being hit, or being treated nearly as badly as a POW), manipulation, arrogance, etc.  What seems to be the cure (at least, the one I read of)?  Cutting off one's family!  In other words, continued divorce, of sorts. "

Some people are too quick to cut off but that is not true for everyone. I severely limited MIL contact to my children when MIL started to diagnose my 2 year old daughter with ailments that she did not have and then MIL would try and sneak medicine that she concaucted out of herbal remedies behind our backs. This is dangerous behavior, the psychological community calls it "Munchausen by Proxy". MIL also snuck our 2 year old out while we were napping at one point, we found them at the beach and MIL (who is not a good swimmer) was dipping our 2 year old (also not a good swimmer) in very deep water.

Sometimes the MIL (and I am talking about all MILs in general but my MIL happens to be a very derranged woman who refuses to get any medical attention or even try and make herself safe to be around). Sometimes the MIL is just too toxic to be around because she poses a danger to others around her.

Where does the cycle end?
For me it ends here, I do not allow MIL to abuse our children or our family anymore. MIL will not listen to boundaries, even fights for her "right" to be dysfunctional and I have in it MILs own writing that "she does not care who she offends she is not listening to our boundaries". Even the bible tells us that with people like this that you rebuke them, that is actually the biblical thing to do. That is due to my particular MILs own behavior, the natural consequences of what MIL has done to herself (even though she blames everyone else for it) with her own hand.

It ends by rebuking a person like my particular MIL and not letting her (she is like asbestos) into our home to make our family ill anymore.

"Eventually DIL become MIL.  It would be extremely naive to think the friction you're feeling won't happen to you."
Yes eventually I will become a MIL and when I do, I am going to learn what not to do from the woman that occupies the place of my MIL. I admit my wrongdoings, rather then be arrogant like my MIL....so I am not repeating MILs behavior,

So then if I am not repeating MILs behavior then why would I reap the same consequences that she has for her behavior? That is called enmeshment .

I just don't understand GWN, what makes people like your MIL?  And what I dislike even more is, they really don't listen and accept that maybe they have some ownership in the problem?  I don't get that....this MIL of yours sounds really awful....

Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: GreatWhiteNorth on September 13, 2010, 07:00:05 AM
Well Creme-
She grew up in war times in Poland, in circumstances that I can probably never imagine and am forever greatful that I don't understand.

Some people come out of these sort of situations okay and others don't. My MILs is a case of arrested development, she functions emotionally at about the level of a 2.5-3 years old, so that is likely the age she was at when most likely none of her needs were met as a child and how she turned into who she is today.

We all go through hard times, but for the hard times to mold my MIL into the person she is today, those hard times would have to relentless and never ending. So I feel pity more then anything for my particular MIL, but that doesn't mean that I am equipped to handle her pathology either. I am simply not equipped and I can relate it to trying to save someone drowning when you can't swim, you just drown with them. If I don't detach from how MIL is I drown with her.

When I do that, I am not here for my family, for my kids, instead I am completely wrapped up in the pathology. If I can't handle MILs pathology and I am in my 30's, how can I expect my 6 and 4 year old to cope with it? They just can't, they are too little. They need to be kids, not be handed larger then life adult problems to deal with.

I am greatful that despite these challenges that my kids are healthy and happy kids that are growing up completely normal and blissfully unaware of MILs pathology, without her pathology hurting their family and place of security.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: pam1 on September 13, 2010, 07:49:09 AM
"It seems a lot of people that have come from broken homes repeat the pattern in their adult life.  It isn't necessarily that they purposely set out to get into a marriage they intend to end, but rather, I think people repeat the self-defeating behaviors they witnessed as children."

I wanted to respond to this as well.  This is something my MIL has said about me and has stated this (not in the way you have Mamacita:) ) as if this is the sole reason she has problems with me.  I've caught her using this as a line of gossip to other family members and generally just repeating my parents divorce, in her own words -- she actually has no idea what happened, other than they divorced.  When DH asked her about -- for one, she got a LOT of the details very wrong, she couldn't get over the fact that not only was she "gossiping" she was also lying

She told DH she had no idea she shouldn't be telling anyone this stuff and kept defending her right to lie.  No apology to me, not a retraction to all the people she gossiped to me and my family about.  She was so dang curious about my family's background but not once reached out to me in anyway to really get my feelings on it, she took what she thought someone would feel and do and then ran with it. 

When DH and I saw a counselor I brought this up, I felt this behavior of MIL's was very hurtful and she was using my parents issues to gossip about me.  She really has no idea how I dealt with their divorce and how I felt about it in general.  She took something painful in most people's lives and then gossiped/lied/and used that as a deflection to not examine her own behavior.  The therapist said that in her opinion and her experience in a clinical setting that she has observed children of divorce being a lot more aware of social and family issues that could lead to divorce and being more proactive about those issues. 

Even now, it's still shocking to me that my MIL, in not even talking to me once about this could form so many opinions and judgements.  It is simply shocking to me.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: cremebrulee on September 13, 2010, 08:11:50 AM
Well Creme-
She grew up in war times in Poland, in circumstances that I can probably never imagine and am forever greatful that I don't understand.

Some people come out of these sort of situations okay and others don't. My MILs is a case of arrested development, she functions emotionally at about the level of a 2.5-3 years old, so that is likely the age she was at when most likely none of her needs were met as a child and how she turned into who she is today.

We all go through hard times, but for the hard times to mold my MIL into the person she is today, those hard times would have to relentless and never ending. So I feel pity more then anything for my particular MIL, but that doesn't mean that I am equipped to handle her pathology either. I am simply not equipped and I can relate it to trying to save someone drowning when you can't swim, you just drown with them. If I don't detach from how MIL is I drown with her.

When I do that, I am not here for my family, for my kids, instead I am completely wrapped up in the pathology. If I can't handle MILs pathology and I am in my 30's, how can I expect my 6 and 4 year old to cope with it? They just can't, they are too little. They need to be kids, not be handed larger then life adult problems to deal with.

I am greatful that despite these challenges that my kids are healthy and happy kids that are growing up completely normal and blissfully unaware of MILs pathology, without her pathology hurting their family and place of security.

GWN
I'm very very sorry this happened to her...I tend to forget, that there are people out there who have had a disasterous childhood, and I apologize for pre-judging....and also very sorry that you are dealing with this, however, she is very lucky to have you.
Very lucky!  Your a brave and stoic woman.....

Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: cremebrulee on September 13, 2010, 08:40:26 AM
"It seems a lot of people that have come from broken homes repeat the pattern in their adult life.  It isn't necessarily that they purposely set out to get into a marriage they intend to end, but rather, I think people repeat the self-defeating behaviors they witnessed as children."

I wanted to respond to this as well.  This is something my MIL has said about me and has stated this (not in the way you have Mamacita:) ) as if this is the sole reason she has problems with me.  I've caught her using this as a line of gossip to other family members and generally just repeating my parents divorce, in her own words -- she actually has no idea what happened, other than they divorced.  When DH asked her about -- for one, she got a LOT of the details very wrong, she couldn't get over the fact that not only was she "gossiping" she was also lying

She told DH she had no idea she shouldn't be telling anyone this stuff and kept defending her right to lie.  No apology to me, not a retraction to all the people she gossiped to me and my family about.  She was so dang curious about my family's background but not once reached out to me in anyway to really get my feelings on it, she took what she thought someone would feel and do and then ran with it. 

When DH and I saw a counselor I brought this up, I felt this behavior of MIL's was very hurtful and she was using my parents issues to gossip about me.  She really has no idea how I dealt with their divorce and how I felt about it in general.  She took something painful in most people's lives and then gossiped/lied/and used that as a deflection to not examine her own behavior.  The therapist said that in her opinion and her experience in a clinical setting that she has observed children of divorce being a lot more aware of social and family issues that could lead to divorce and being more proactive about those issues. 

Even now, it's still shocking to me that my MIL, in not even talking to me once about this could form so many opinions and judgements.  It is simply shocking to me.

Pam1
I'm very sorry your being made to experience this...
I hope you don't mind, thought perhaps you might want to explore the following?
Maybe this will help a little, maybe it won't? 

http://ezinearticles.com/?How-Deal-With-People-Who-Hurt-You&id=733249
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: GreatWhiteNorth on September 13, 2010, 10:40:53 AM
Pam1- Sometimes this statement is used by some to scapegoat with. It is a way of redirecting what the "issue" is.

When I was getting my Masters I was away every other weekend and my MIL memorized my school schedule and would ensure she was in our town when I was gone. She was at the stage of pretending that I don't exist thus she would wait until I was gone and then want to come over and play house in my absense.

My DH told her "no" that MIL was infact not treating us like a family when she specifically waits for me to be gone to come over. MIL had an enormous temper tantrum over this, over her son saying "no" to her.

She started email bashing me and acted like it was my fault, as if I was forcing her son to say no to her...oh the emails.....three or four months of these silly silly emails. She pulled everything from claiming I was I was "unholy" to this exact statement. One email she scapegoated me for the whole thing and claimed it was due to my difficult childhood and then said that it was a shame that I act this way, that many people have had difficult childhoods and still manage to be happy and then claimed I was hurting the kids with my apparent unhappiness.

This was all going on in my  MILs head, not an ounce of validity to it whatsoever, but see how she used that very arguement to scapegoat me?

My childhood had nothing to do with my husband saying "no" to her and her accompanying temper tantrum at all, I was not even in the Country when my husband said "no" to her, I was in school which was just across the border. I didn't even hear about him saying "no" to her until weeks after the fact. It had nothing to do with me or my difficult childhood at all.

My point is.....it is one of the oldest tricks in the book and I see the scapegoating in what you wrote as well, I have seen other situations where dysfunctional people do something similar. My one friend her MIL would use the death of her dear mother against her, it is also about button pushing, when they pick instances in your life that cause you pain. They are actually looking for a negative reaction, it gives them a sense of feeling powerful to negatively effect someone like that. (I am not talking about MILs here, but abusive people in general)

I see your point about the gossiping, last time I saw MIL I was surprized as I saw her gossip about SILs brothers marriage. I never saw that part of her somehow until that point.



Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: GreatWhiteNorth on September 13, 2010, 10:46:32 AM
Creme- I didn't feel like you judged her at all, my point was that I pity her and those are the reasons and that I understand how she got that way, however I don't think how my  MIL got that way is a valid reason to be abusive, and I certainly don't see her as powerless, in that she somehow "has" to abuse, as if it is out of her control. She has choices to make and her life is a sum of her choices, her choices are what have shaped her destiny.

My pitying of MIL is the alternative for me to feeling revolted by her, it is the place I am at with her and it is how I am trying to practice forgiveness. Doesn't mean I am going to go near her again, she certainly has not changed, she is still toxic. But I don't want the negative effects on my life of actively hating someone. It is extremely exhausting and not productive at all.

MIL chooses to be who she is and I choose how to deal with that. I couldn't change her if I wanted to, it is not even my place to try.

Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: pam1 on September 13, 2010, 11:02:51 AM
"It seems a lot of people that have come from broken homes repeat the pattern in their adult life.  It isn't necessarily that they purposely set out to get into a marriage they intend to end, but rather, I think people repeat the self-defeating behaviors they witnessed as children."

I wanted to respond to this as well.  This is something my MIL has said about me and has stated this (not in the way you have Mamacita:) ) as if this is the sole reason she has problems with me.  I've caught her using this as a line of gossip to other family members and generally just repeating my parents divorce, in her own words -- she actually has no idea what happened, other than they divorced.  When DH asked her about -- for one, she got a LOT of the details very wrong, she couldn't get over the fact that not only was she "gossiping" she was also lying

She told DH she had no idea she shouldn't be telling anyone this stuff and kept defending her right to lie.  No apology to me, not a retraction to all the people she gossiped to me and my family about.  She was so dang curious about my family's background but not once reached out to me in anyway to really get my feelings on it, she took what she thought someone would feel and do and then ran with it. 

When DH and I saw a counselor I brought this up, I felt this behavior of MIL's was very hurtful and she was using my parents issues to gossip about me.  She really has no idea how I dealt with their divorce and how I felt about it in general.  She took something painful in most people's lives and then gossiped/lied/and used that as a deflection to not examine her own behavior.  The therapist said that in her opinion and her experience in a clinical setting that she has observed children of divorce being a lot more aware of social and family issues that could lead to divorce and being more proactive about those issues. 

Even now, it's still shocking to me that my MIL, in not even talking to me once about this could form so many opinions and judgements.  It is simply shocking to me.

Pam1
I'm very sorry your being made to experience this...
I hope you don't mind, thought perhaps you might want to explore the following?
Maybe this will help a little, maybe it won't? 

http://ezinearticles.com/?How-Deal-With-People-Who-Hurt-You&id=733249

Hi Creme and thanks for the article.  I don't pray but I understand the gist of what they're getting at.  To be honest, I was more shocked than anything that my MIL took it upon herself to gossip about my family.  For one, it was mainly made up stuff and two, I felt like it was more set up to be hurtful to me rather than actually being hurtful to me.  KWIM? 

I knew it was lies so therefore, I didn't really care.  Similar to if at a work situation you know a coworker is lying about you, you might be confused or shocked, but you know the truth and those who are closest to you know the truth so it's not actually hurtful to you.  However, MIL is not a coworker and the damage I believe she was setting out to accomplish was done with the intent to do harm was what concerned me and it is why I explored the issue with the counselor with my husband. And this isn't the only example I have of similar issues with MIL, I've seen her gossip about some rather sensitive issues with other in laws and it was much worse than what she did with me.  I also saw that she always did this in reaction to being told "no" or in someway not getting what she wanted.  It wasn't ever an innocent conversation where she let things slip, she deliberately told untruths about people and usually used a painful platform to do it on.

What concerns me the most is not what MIL says (although it's probably a pretty big reason I don't trust her lol) but how it affects my marriage.   
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: pam1 on September 13, 2010, 11:07:44 AM
Pam1- Sometimes this statement is used by some to scapegoat with. It is a way of redirecting what the "issue" is.

When I was getting my Masters I was away every other weekend and my MIL memorized my school schedule and would ensure she was in our town when I was gone. She was at the stage of pretending that I don't exist thus she would wait until I was gone and then want to come over and play house in my absense.

My DH told her "no" that MIL was infact not treating us like a family when she specifically waits for me to be gone to come over. MIL had an enormous temper tantrum over this, over her son saying "no" to her.

She started email bashing me and acted like it was my fault, as if I was forcing her son to say no to her...oh the emails.....three or four months of these silly silly emails. She pulled everything from claiming I was I was "unholy" to this exact statement. One email she scapegoated me for the whole thing and claimed it was due to my difficult childhood and then said that it was a shame that I act this way, that many people have had difficult childhoods and still manage to be happy and then claimed I was hurting the kids with my apparent unhappiness.

This was all going on in my  MILs head, not an ounce of validity to it whatsoever, but see how she used that very arguement to scapegoat me?

My childhood had nothing to do with my husband saying "no" to her and her accompanying temper tantrum at all, I was not even in the Country when my husband said "no" to her, I was in school which was just across the border. I didn't even hear about him saying "no" to her until weeks after the fact. It had nothing to do with me or my difficult childhood at all.

My point is.....it is one of the oldest tricks in the book and I see the scapegoating in what you wrote as well, I have seen other situations where dysfunctional people do something similar. My one friend her MIL would use the death of her dear mother against her, it is also about button pushing, when they pick instances in your life that cause you pain. They are actually looking for a negative reaction, it gives them a sense of feeling powerful to negatively effect someone like that. (I am not talking about MILs here, but abusive people in general)

I see your point about the gossiping, last time I saw MIL I was surprized as I saw her gossip about SILs brothers marriage. I never saw that part of her somehow until that point.

You put that so well, GWN.  That's exactly how I felt about that situation and others that I've seen MIL start.  It wasn't so much what she said, it was the intent. 

And I think with like you said, abusive people in general, doesn't matter if it is DIL or MIL or whoever this can't be reckoned with.  I have no idea how to deal with a person like that -- that is something she will have to figure out on her own. 

Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: JustAnotherDay on October 03, 2010, 07:46:08 PM
Hello, Everyone, as you can see, this is my first post.

Without a lot of detail, I lived in many different countries and my parents are English. I was abused: physically, emotionally, sexually.  I came to the United States to further pursue my education and fell in love with an American man.  We love each other very much and have been married for six years. When I was fourteen I was in an accident that broke many vertebrae in my back and I have had several surgeries. This has left me in chronic pain. Six months after our (extremely stressful) wedding, I had what's ordinarily called a 'nervous breakdown' and had to be hospitalised for my own safety.  I have been in intensive therapy since then and things have improved tremendously, although my husband and I do go to couple’s therapy as well.  It is so much with which to deal for my husband, and had I any sort of inkling of an issue before the wedding, I would have expressly told him.

It's not been the same as far as my mother-in-law and I since then.  It's clear my mother in-law has some very deep issues inherited from her situation, for example finding out who her biological father was in her mid-forties and her mother (my husband’s grandmother) that has her own issues as well.

Right now, things are not going well between my husband and I, having to do with an unfortunate incident involving his birthday.--one of those small things that brings out the resentment and hatred that’s been boiling for so many years.  My mother-in-law has been cruel, called me horrible things, such a liar, that I made “them” uncomfortable, want everything to be perfect (clearly not seen my house lately, I have two big dogs that tend to make a mess! LOL) and told my husband I'd be "trouble when I leave," etc. I relate to the woman who wrote earlier that she felt she had 'cooties' and was 'the scapegoat.' That's how I feel when I'm with his family. 

I’ve tried so hard to defend myself, but it always turns into a circular argument and my ’fight or flight’ kicks in--or should I say, flight.  I quietly leave--no slamming doors, just quietly leaving their home and sitting in the car. I should add that there has always been a great animosity between their three children and their mates.  I am ready to cut the 'ties that bind' as far as my mother and father in law go, however, my sister-in-law is pregnant and suddenly held on a pedestal of outrageous proportions by husband’s family. 

We both want to be a part of his nephew's life--I've told him that everyone is welcome at our home but his mother-in-law, but that I cannot have someone whose said such hurtful things in my home, which I consider a den of safety. I've been through too much to listen to another person put me down and make me feel terrible.  I haven’t seen *my* family in years, due to financial constraints, so all holidays are spent with them.  I would so love to have a family that loves me back, but that just doesn’t seem to be in the cards. I am considering leaving my husband and going to my home--I just can’t imagine raising a family in an emotionally hurtful environment as I did and would like to have children before my ‘clock’ begins to tick.

I just don’t know what to do, what to say, but it’s clear that my depression is worse when my in-laws are involved and it’s become an unhealthy situation.  I just don’t know what to do anymore.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: barelythere on October 03, 2010, 08:12:06 PM
Dear JustAnotherDay,
I am so sorry you are going through this painful situation.  Having to deal with all this in a country not your own makes it even worse.  I find no excuse for your Mother in Law to treat you like this.  It doesn't matter at all that she is dealing with "deep issues of her own".  You've been through too much, her issues are not important right now.  I hope you and your husband can come to terms with your marriage but if you have a safe place to go to where there are people who love you, that's where I'd go.  This is just my opinion but I send it with my heart to you.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: luise.volta on October 03, 2010, 08:33:03 PM
I agree 100%! Sending love...
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: JustAnotherDay on October 04, 2010, 07:25:45 AM
Thank you, barelythere and Luise, your replies matter more than you know.  I should make clear that my husband and I have never been physical with each other, but when he sits quietly and lets his family and his mother berate me, it makes me so angry.  Yes, I stand up for myself the best way that I know how (I was taught that my elders were unquestionably in the right, which is something I've worked upon in therapy.)

For the longest time, my SIL was talked about horribly--awful stuff, for example, my MIL said that if she ever got pregnant (she has polycystic ovarian syndrome and was unlikely to conceive) that she'd keep it in a kennel like one of her dogs. Now that she is pregnant (which was part of the aspect of the birthday--they announced that she had a positive home test the day before his 30th birthday and a positive blood test the day of), she is treated so well, with lovely compliments--I admit to my jealousy at this. I was sad about my own doubtful fertility and the timing for a three or so days, then scrapped it up, sent cards, tried to send e-mails about the things you speak about to a pregnant woman.  She has no interest in even trying to answer the e-mails my husband encourages.

My husband is realising that if I won't go to his parent's home (and I'd like to say that I've never, ever forbid him from going to their home or seeing his relatives) that I will not be there for various holidays--and thus, if we have children, they will not have a 'normal' Christmastime.

I'm fighting tooth and nail to find a job--not easy in all this economic jibberjabber.  This morning I woke up just sobbing.  My husband asked what was wrong and I couldn't even begin to articulate everything. He just left and shut the door.  It's just so much pressure from each and every side, and due to the heavy cost of my doctor's visits and medications, we're sinking fast financially. I don't know how much longer I can stand all of this, but I haven't got the funds to make it home, even for a little while.
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: luise.volta on October 04, 2010, 08:05:22 AM
Can you contact your family members and ask them to pay for your trip back? Sometimes we don't ask (I don't) when others would have helped. Sending love...
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: luise.volta on October 04, 2010, 08:56:15 AM
I think there is a way for you to change your user name if that would help. Sending love...
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: miss_priss on October 04, 2010, 11:33:02 AM
JustAnotherDay - I had not planned on doing any more posting to this site, but I decided to just read today and your story breaks my heart.  Some folks here will not like what I have to say, but I feel I need to say it as a fellow DIL in a similar situation with my in-laws.   

Some people are just poisonous to our spirits and to anyone around them.  Most people just accept it and live with it (awww, that's just how she is!), others of us can recognize it and choose not to accept it.  Your MIL sounds extremely TOXIC, and hubby really doesn't sound much better to be totally honest.  Shame on her for treating you this way, and shame on him for allowing it.  And I think you are right, your home is YOUR safe haven.  If she cannot treat you respectfully in your home then she has no right or reason to be there, hubby can go visit with her elsewhere if he wishes.  And if your husband chooses to maintain his toxic relationship with these toxic people, then good for him...but you don't have to.   Shame on your MIL for what she said about the unborn children of your SIL, and shame on her for now putting on the illusion of a happy concerned grandma.  I hope you see that if she will say something so disgusting about your SIL, I can only imagine what she must say about you and others.  Shame, shame, shame on her.

I hope that if you want to maintain a relationship with your SIL and new nephew as you said, you will reach out to her again.  If she refuses, there is nothing you can do to change that.  Don't get bogged down in things you can't change. 

You're the only person who can make the decision regarding the fate of your marriage in this situation.  You can feel free to correct me if I am wrong, but hubby sounds like he's cruising right in there with them and not supporting you the way he needs to.  This is HIS family, and he needs to protect you from their toxicity by whatever means necessary, and if he can't/won't do that then that must mean he either 1) doesn't see anything wrong with how they're treating you, which is very sad, or 2) is too afraid of her to speak up for you.  Shame on him.  And you came to this site looking for support and answers and encouragement in your situation, anonymously I might add, and shame on him for making you feel bad about that.  What, is he afraid you're going to get good advice?  Is he afraid that you'll learn that you shouldn't tolerate that kind of treatment?  Shame on him. 

I will give you kudos for encouraging your hubby to spend time with his family, he certainly should do that.  But I will tell you from my own experience, and from reading posts from other DILs...I think we can all agree that the "separate life" doesn't work forever, and him having the double-life does nothing to repair the situation.  Instead it will lead your MIL into the next phase of her treatment of you...she will just pretend you don't exist.  (Oh, but she will still want access to your children, believe me!)  He can't maintain a life with them, and a separate one with you.  It just doesn't work, and it may not bother you now, but it will eventually really hurt your spirit and even your marriage.  It's a very short-term solution to a very long-term problem and it does nothing but give his mother exactly what she wanted all along.....him (and his children), without YOU.  It does nothing to help her accept you as a couple (you can't make her do that).     

And you're thinking along the right lines regarding future children.  It sounds like there is a very uncivil relationship between you and your MIL, and I'm not sure what your relationship is with the rest of his family.  But if your husband chooses to maintain that relationship with another person (even his mother) who treats his wife like a pile of poo, he WILL want to share his children with her, even without you or even your consent.  In that situation you have two choices, you can continue getting beat up while you visit them with your hubby and child, or you can adopt the "all of us or none of us" way of life.  I don't know how your hubby would respond to that, but I can guess.  I myself would never even consider sharing my child with anyone who I knew was emotionally abusive or treated me or DH like poo, and that includes family on either side.  It's like handing your child off to your sister who just intentionally smacked you in the face or your brother that mugged you or the uncle that pulled a gun on you.  Why would you do that?  Why would anyone do that?  It just doesn't make good sense, even when it's family.  Mistreatment and abuse is unacceptable and it doesn't matter who it's from or what form its in, emotional, physical, or sexual.  If your husband is allowing her to mistreat you keep his own peace with Mumsy, then he's just as bad as she is IMHO.       

I hope you will consider your own happiness amidst all of this.  YOU deserve to be happy, and if these people can't treat you any better than poo, then let them be happy together without you.  These people, your husband included, are causing YOU stress and depression.  This needs to be brought up in counseling, and if he can't support you in a better way than this then you've got a tough choice to make.   You're in my prayers love.  I'll be thinking of you.     
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: luise.volta on October 04, 2010, 12:05:33 PM
Hi Miss Priss - Glad to see you. We don't post here to please others on our site, we post to express and learn. Others can always take what they want and leave the rest. I hope you'll reconsider and stay. Sending love...
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: Nana on October 04, 2010, 01:08:58 PM
Hi Miss Priss

Great advice you gave on this latter post.  I am happy to see you here again.  I am also asking you to reconsider.  We are like a normal family in this site.  Sometimes we have problems with those around us.  We all think differently and people sometimes do not agree with us or we with them.  That is ok....it is life. 

I did  enjoy your post a lot.  Your view.....on the other side of the grass (dil) was of great help to me.

Love
Title: Re: "Leave & Cleave" vs. Honor thy Mother(-in-law)
Post by: JustAnotherDay on October 04, 2010, 02:12:20 PM
Thank you, Miss Priss, if you see this.  Your post has built me up and made me feel a great deal better--I hope you read this or know it in your spirit.  You're a good one.