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"Welcome to WiseWomenUnite.com -- When adult children marry and leave home, life can sometimes get more complex instead of simpler.  Being a mother-in-law or daughter-in-law can be tough.  How do we extend love and support to our mothers-in-law, adult children, daughters-in-law, sons-in-law, and grandchildren without interfering?  What do we do when there are communication problems?  How can we ask for help when we need it without being a burden?  And how do our family members feel about these issues?  We invite you to join our free forum, read some posts... and when you're ready...share your challenges and wisdom."

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Messages - pam1

Jane, this sounds like an awful situation from all sides.  I do want to caution you about getting too involved, sometimes the messenger gets shot.  My take is to let DS figure this out by himself, there are too many angles to consider and it's not an easy subject at all.  Hopefully their marriage is able to weather this storm.  Many do not, even when the parties are really good people. 
Welcome Peachykeen  :)

Please read the highlighted items in the category Open Me First.  We ask all new members to do this in order to get a feel for WWU and how we came about.

I think you're on the right track.  Maybe some day MIL will come around but today is not that day.  Being civil and kind when you do see her is a very nice thing to do, especially in light of how she treats you.  It says a lot about your character and I think you should continue to do that in her presence.  However, when she is not around I think you should clear your mind of it and her. 
Welcome Steph :)

Please read the highlighted items in the category Open Me First, we ask all new members to do so in order to get a feel for WWU and how we came about.  I'm glad you found us, but am sorry to hear about your troubles.  I think you will find a lot of support here.

Does this program offer any services to you and DH?  Maybe they can tell you what's your best options in dealing with your DD.  Or something like Al Anon? 

Did YS know of your Tday plans before saying yes to OS? 

I think making your holiday fun is the way to go.  It's natural to be upset at some things, I just wouldn't let it ruin your holiday.
Quote from: NewMama on November 08, 2012, 05:42:44 am
Thanks everyone for the replies. Hearing from other helps me get some perspective.

DH threw me for a loop when he last minute cancelled Thanksgiving on MIL, and I knew she was going to take that out on me. And sure enough she did, telling DH it's ok and then complain to me that we were supposed to come visit and didn't. I used to push him to go when he did stuff like that, but stopped. I think next time he does it I'm going to have to tell him it's making my life miserable and to stop. Whether or not he believes his mother is acting that way remains to be seen.

The Christmas gift thing is interesting, I see different families doing it different ways. My brother has always done the shopping for our family, and SisIL does hers. DH and I used to each buy a gift for everyone, but when DS arrived we were perplexed as to where to put his name on gifts. We decided that instead of each of us buying a gift for someone else, we'd buy 2 or 3 three things and put from NewMama, DH and DS. So he does the gifts for his side now, and I do mine. I still end up with the longer list since my side is bigger, but DH seems way less stressed about Christmas now. He still doesn't get why my FOO buys him gifts, no matter how much I tell him that since he married me, they see him as 'one of us' now. And I see his family the same - they're my family now too, but he doesn't see things that way. He's also not a sentimental guy, and doesn't care for holidays. Part of the reason he doesn't get that bailing on his mom on holidays hurts her feelings.

I think bailing on someone, regardless of the reason or even it's a holiday isn't acceptable, unless there is an emergency.  So I understand your concern there.  I wonder if you can phrase it to him in terms of it being hurtful no matter what, irregardless of it being a holiday and no matter who he made the plans with.  And personally, I would just go anyways if I already confirmed my attendance and there wasn't a strained relationship with the in laws. 

Also, if it does come up with DH about you buying for your Mom but not MIL, then maybe it's a good time to discuss the differences between you too so he understands that it is not a diss to MIL, it is just something nice for your Mom.  It would be really difficult to go through the rest of your marriage buying the exact same things for your Mom and MIL.  Additionally, it sounds like you don't expect him to do for your FOO exactly what he does for his, so that might be another talking point. 

Pooh, DH has forgotten a few times.  I was embarrassed but had to learn to detach from it.  It was more painful to make sure DH and the ILs got what they all wanted (DH did seem to think once "I do" was said that I was automatically responsible for a lot of things to do with his FOO, unbeknowst to me.)  For some reason, whatever DH did before me was A-OK (he forgot then too or bought not so nice things) but once he married me, the ILs expected more.  But no matter what I did it was not enough.  So now they all have to deal with each other directly, they know they can't blame me anymore.
Quote from: Pooh on November 08, 2012, 10:04:48 am
That did make me think of a question though.  For those that leave his FOO to him as far as gift giving, do you do this across the board?  Like friends, his AC (if it's a blended family, etc.)

No.  In fact, I still give DH ideas for his FOO if I come across something that I think they would like.  If he already liked something for them and I'm out and see it, I will still buy it for him.  But it's on him ultimately to make sure they get it and bottom line, make sure he is still making an effort with his FOO since mine was not appreciated.  It is ultimately his responsibility in our marriage and there is no Pam will just take care of it all.  And then get sniped at for what I did do.  If they don't like it, DH deals with it.  It has taken a big burden off of me and him to do it this way, we both share the responsibility for taking care of our own FOO.  It is no different than another marital choice, such as who pays the bills or takes out the trash.

But, then again, neither of us think of gifts as others do.  I think it's a Love Language thing.

I see it much differently.  Even if DH buys for his FOO, it is still coming from our household and shared income and the gift is from both of us.  He is the one who bought it and delivered it, but it is from us.  It is exactly the same as before when I bought the gifts and insured delivery to his FOO, those gifts were also from our household and came from both of us to his folks. 

I'm not big on gifts anyway and almost always relieved when someone wants to change up the obligatory gifts by not exchanging.  So, if MIL wants to do that, I'm all for it.  But if she is using the reasoning for it because DH is now buying our gifts to her and she is upset that I'm not doing it, then it's just another mental note that she is looking for a reason to be upset with me.  But, that's only because of my exact situation and not what I would consider across the board in every IL situation.

I think you have to do what you feel most comfortable with.  I see nothing wrong with buying your Mom something different than MIL. 

Maybe it's time for a change in the gift department anyway.  DH can pick out his family's gifts, maybe they'll even like it better that he chose for them.
Daughter in Laws and/or Son in Laws / Re: I finally blew!
November 05, 2012, 02:34:30 pm
I think it is about time someone stood up to them.  There were times that I wasn't strong enough to stand up to DHs FOOs attacks and I desperately wished someone would just take one for me.  Pregnant and with her husband deployed -- I think you just did her a kindness. 

But I do agree that she will have to learn this on her own at some point.  Also, the book Scoop suggested is a good one.
Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Re: just venting
October 30, 2012, 04:03:07 pm
Elsie, glad you're ok.  I was thinking about you.  Meant to sent you an email but wasn't sure if you had power.

I wish you had sent him a smiley with the tongue sticking out.
Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Re: My daughters
October 30, 2012, 03:59:18 pm
Welcome Alea :)

I like Pen's compromise.  Coming from a long term step family myself, we've all found it is very important to still have some type of quality time with the bio parent.  Even as adults.  So, I don't think your daughters requests are unusual in that sense and even more so with the background of the relationship with your SO, I can see why it would be important to them. 

It certainly doesn't mean it has to be every weekend or that you have to drive every time, there is compromise in there somewhere.  Maybe ask them to meet half way to see a movie or do some shopping every once in a while.
Welcome JustMeMother :)
Since he did apologize, I would not bring it up.  The past is the past to me.  However, if he asks for money again, that's the time I would have the talk with him.

Have a fun trip :)
I wouldn't make a big deal about it.  For what it's worth, both DH and I have access to each others emails and due to several things -- we often have to check each others emails for valid reasons.  Just yesterday I had to check DHs to make sure a gift I bought off of Amazon shipped because our Amazon account is under his email. 

On another note, I would prepare for a bigger fall out coming.  I think it will be hard for any spouse to discover that their marriage is being talked about with others.  I'm so sorry and really sympathize with you, any abuse is terrible and this cannot be easy.  Hopefully your DS and DIL will work their problems out.
DivaGirl, I feel for you.  That has to be hard.  And it sounds like the relationship is a difficult one.  DH and I were recommended the book "Walking on Eggshells" for a family member with a mental illness but I'm not saying at all that your mother is mentally ill.  I just want to recommend the book because I thought (and others in the reviews) found it a great book to pick up some coping skills for difficult relationships in general.  It goes over this kind of stuff that you're experiencing and has some excellent ways for you too kind of redirect your own mind when it happens.  I can't recommend that book enough.