April 19, 2021, 10:07:31 pm


"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 - Stilllearning

Hello Imc!  I am so sorry that it took me so long to reply but I was on Spring Break.  I know that you must have read some of my sordid story but if you want to go back and read the posts when I was where you are you might find yourself with a more kindred spirit than you think.  I thought I was going to loose my mind.  I tried to talk my son into waiting to get married and they moved the wedding up.  I was absolutely determined to fix things.  It was all I ever thought about and the more I tried to fix things the worse they got.  I finally had to stop trying.  I had to give up, throw in the towel, bow to defeat.  I couldn't fix it and what's more, all of my trying had just made it worse.  It was the wonderful women on here who helped me get on with my life.  They told me that I deserve to be happy and then they told me how to accomplish that happiness. 

Think of something that makes you happy.  Whenever your mind wanders back to the horrible thoughts about your DD you have to force your mind back to things that make you happy.  Plan trips, include your younger daughter.  Have some fun!!  When your DD decides to talk to you you need to revel her with stories of all the fun you and your youngest are having.  Stop trying to get your DD to join in, go do things without her!  It doesn't have to be expensive, you can join a gym with your youngest and talk about how well you are both doing in your classes.  You can go camping, haunt estate sales, make Goodwill an adventure.  I made a trip to an Oriental store an adventure yesterday.  I am going on a nature walk this morning.  There are so many inexpensive or free things that you can do to have fun!  A picnic, go pick wildflowers, hunt for blackberries, try a new recipe.  I am learning how to cane chairs with the 7 step method.  There is so much fun out there to be had but I just got so stuck in the abyss (my name for the chasm my mind falls into when I think about my DS and his horrible wife) that I could not see any way out. 

I have since learned to look around me and see the good things I have and not focus on the things that I feel I deserve and am not getting.  So here are the three mantras I try to live by now:

1)  What you focus on expands (so focus on the good things you have)
2)  No news is good news (what I say to anyone who asks me how my DS/DIL are doing)
3)  Not my circus, not my monkeys  (When someone tells me something about my DS/DIL that is happening and      
       they are concerned about it)

The truth about the matter is that I have been relieved of duty as the teacher in my DS's life.  I did my job and now he has the reins and life is his new teacher.  If it helps any my DS has gradually drifted back into my life and I have gotten the pleasure of getting to know him as an adult who makes his own decisions and takes credit for his good decisions and does not try to shift blame for his mistakes. 

I know that while in the midst of the horror that was consuming my happiness it was exceedingly difficult to refocus on things that made me happy.  It took lots of practice and many times I found myself deep in the abyss.  The ladies here gave me a hand up.  Hopefully I can return the favor.

Oh M, I am so sorry that you are in this situation!  How did you stand it for so long?  I went to counseling with my DIL and it turned out horribly.  She was already in counseling so we just used her counselor.  It turned out to be two against one.  The counselor made me acknowledge how difficult it was for my DIL to share her feelings and never once was I asked about how I felt.  That visit did do one thing for me.  It made me so mad that I swore I would not put up with any more of my DIL's antics.  It has turned out that once my DS was not required to stand up for his spouse he had the time to assess her behavior for himself.  As I stepped out of the picture the two of them no longer had to present a united front against a common enemy (me) and my DS is finally coming to his senses.  Talk about messed up....my "DIL" has now decided that she is really a man.  Who would have figured?

Anyway my DS and I are finally getting to know each other as adults and it is working out pretty well.  Don't give up all hope, just spend your time doing things that make you happy.  Enjoy your life and anytime that your brain starts to spiral into the abyss of hopelessness remind yourself of all you have that is wonderful.  Kiss your DH and the two of you plan something you both enjoy.  Your DS has his own lessons to learn and now life is his teacher, not you.

Daughter in Laws and/or Son in Laws / Re: Jealous SIL
December 02, 2020, 02:57:16 pm
Welcome B!  We ask all new members to go to our HomePage and under Open Me First to read the posts placed there for you. Please pay special attention to the Forum Agreement to be sure WWU is a fit for you. We are a monitored Website.

I have thought long and hard about how to reply to your post.  As a mother of sons I can only tell you what it was like for me when my DS married.  Marriage is a huge step in life.  It signifies not only adulthood but the willingness to assume the responsibilities for not only your own life but also the life and happiness of your spouse and any possible offspring.  It signifies flying out of the nest and no longer holding onto the edge and flapping your wings without risking that jump. When my DS took that leap he no longer wanted my advice or counsel.  I was suddenly locked out of my DS's life.  He had to prove himself to the world and he could not do that by running home to Mommy for help.  I went from the inside to the outside of his life in very short order and it hurt like heck.

You can go back in my posts and find out how I thrashed around and how unfair I thought it all was.  It was but that matters not at all.  The truth is that my DS is married and what happens in his marriage is none of my business.  It has taken years for me to come to terms with this reality and now I realize that this is the way things are actually supposed to be.  I don't remember it all but the words "and forsaking all others, cleave only to him" used to be in the wedding ceremony and that was exactly what my DS was doing.  I had to adjust to being an outsider in his life, oh well.

As I understand it daughters do not necessarily have the same reaction to the vows as sons do but I would be willing to bet that what you are interpreting as "jealousy" is actually your SIL reacting to what he believes is you interfering in his marriage.  It would probably benefit you to approach the problem from a different point of view.

Perhaps someone else will chime in and give an opinion?

Hi V!  Glad to meet you and very happy some of what I said resonated with you!  Hopefully you have read the posts under "Open Me First" and understand the rules of the website.  Sure looks like you do! 

I have one more thing to add to your particular situation.  My father got cancer years ago and came to live with me and my DH during his chemo in case he needed help.  He was a wonderfully stoic man who hardly ever complained even when he was the sickest.  Having the stress of dealing with a cancer patient was not nearly as bad for my marriage as the stress it put on my DH when he had to live with his FIL's daughter.  I know it sounds silly but when we are adults we still act differently around our parents than we do around our spouses and to be honest my DH missed his wife.  He got irritable with me and I was overburdened with trying to take care of my Dad so I didn't understand why he was irritable when he should be supportive so I got irritable and it turned into a horrible mess.  I know some spouses tolerate their in laws better than my DH did, but that could be because their significant others handle being around their parents better than I did.  My brother had the same problem when his MIL moved in.  He finally told his wife that he missed his wife and was tired of living with his MIL's daughter.  My dad was so anxious to move out of our house that he slept on the floor the first night just to get away from us.  Not my finest hour and I wish I could have done things differently but he forgave me and so did my DH.  Anyway if you tell your DD that you are worried about how your relationship with her may be interfering with her marriage she might be more willing to take you home (if you think you are ready).

Good morning B!  Experience has taught me that I cannot deal with my DIL's issues and if I try she will just pull my DS even farther from me.  I used to try though.  I called, I texted, I even stopped by but the harder I tried the more he pulled back.  He is married, of course he has to be on the side of his wife.  I am just his mother and "and forsaking all others cleave only to her" used to be in the wedding ceremony so he was just doing what he knew to be right.  I had to pull back.  I know this is hard to do but until you do the two of them will pull together against you.  The only way to keep them from pulling together is to stop being an issue.  Once you (the enemy of their marriage) recede from the picture your DD will have to deal with just her husband.

I believe that you raised an intelligent daughter who will eventually see through what her husband is doing.  Your goal is to keep the lines of communication open so that you can be there when she needs you.  It does sound like she will need you and I know that you want to be there for her when she does.  For now you have to practice taking your mind off of what is happening to your daughter since you cannot fix it.  I use my three mantras to help me whenever my mind tries to wander into what I now call "the abyss" which is a horrible spiraling trap that ends in utter despair. Oh yea, the mantras.......

1) What I focus on expands (so I try to think about something happy)
2) No news is good news (for when I don't hear from them)
3) Not my circus, not my monkeys (when I think they are making a mistake, I can't stop it so why do I worry about it?)

These three mantras have helped me avoid diving headlong into the abyss and over time I have learned how to keep away from those thoughts that suck my psyche into the darkness.  It isn't easy when our children get older, strike out on their own and make mistakes.  We, as parents, have to accept that we have finished our job and need to turn the teaching reins over to life.  Our job as guides is over, now we are cheerleaders. 

Hi B!  We are glad you found us!  We ask all new members to go to our HomePage and under Open Me First to read the posts placed there for you. Please pay special attention to the Forum Agreement to be sure WWU is a fit for you. We are a monitored Website.

Doggone it, my response did not live up to our WWU standards.  I will think on it and try to reply (more hopefully) tomorrow.  Just know I feel for you, something about been there, done that.  You deserve to enjoy your life!

Hi S!  It is good to hear from you!  Man oh man has 2020 been a horrible year!  So many people have lost their jobs and the senate just went on vacation instead of passing an aid package for the people who are unemployed.  It could be that your DD is just one of the millions who worked in the hospitality industry or somewhere else where businesses are falling like flies and there is no job that the unemployed people are qualified for.  It is such a mess!  I would hesitate to blame your DD's situation on anything other than a once in a hundred year pandemic.  The situation is really dire for many young people.

I would have to call her and find out what was happening.  Maybe she doesn't need as much as you think she does.  Maybe your elder DD is in a position to help her.  The first step is to assess the situation and you cannot do that without calling.  Hugs!!

By the way I had to edit the religion out of your post.  We do not allow it here.  Sorry.
Welcome T!  We are glad you found us.  We ask all new members to go to our HomePage and under Open Me First to read the posts placed there for you. Please pay special attention to the Forum Agreement to be sure WWU is a fit for you. We are a monitored Website.

If you replace 'daughter' with 'son' I could have written most of your post.  I know how you feel.  The aching loss and the sense of betrayal.  I knew I deserved better.  I did.  I do.  But getting to a happy place was a long chore with many pitfalls.  It started slowly, by first realizing that I deserved to be happy and my DS was not making me happy so I had to do that myself.  Something in us (especially mothers) rebels against turning away from our children.  It makes us feel like failures.  It took me a while to realize that nothing was farther from the truth.  The truth was that my DS was grown.  I had done my work and helped him learn as many lessons as I could.  Now I had to turn the teaching over to life and watch him master it.

It has been a long road filled with many setbacks where I fell back into what I now call "the abyss".  The journey into the abyss starts innocently enough.  I start thinking about my DS, how things 'used to be', how I can maybe get back there if I just try a little harder, how I must have done something wrong, how I should be able to 'fix' it.  The honest truth is the problem is not mine to fix.  I have no control over the situation.  He has his own lessons to learn and I have to just stand by and watch.  So now, when I start into the abyss I use my three mantras to help me get back to my life.  Sorry if I am repeating but here they are:

1) No news is good news
2) Not my circus, not my monkeys
3) What I focus on expands

If I can manage to tear my mind back to something that I enjoy (camping, canoeing, cooking etc.) then I can regain my footing and enjoy the rest of my day.  I worked hard to get to where I am and I deserve to be happy.  So do you.

Thanks M!  I expect this will break up the marriage, it is just a matter of when.  I keep wondering if my DIL (if I can call 'him' that) will make my grands call him "Dad".  So many questions.  So few answers.

Welcome M!  We are glad you found us! We ask all new members to go to our HomePage and under Open Me First to read the posts placed there for you. Please pay special attention to the Forum Agreement to be sure WWU is a fit for you. We are a monitored Website.

Wow, what a horrible situation!  I think I would make my home a "No Politics Zone" and start throwing out anybody who brought up politics. If they won't leave then go to your room and shut the door.  You have a right to your opinion and you have a right to be treated civilly in your own house.  There is no reason for you to have to tolerate that kind of disrespect even if you were defending flogging children. 

Just as a by note if you or your SIL are getting all of your news from only one or two places please expand your views (and ask you SIL and daughters to do the same).  I watch several different news stations, and yes I have to gird myself for viewing some of them, but I watch them so that I can compare things after getting both sides of the story.  This is a tense and divisive time to be alive and it is up to all of us to try to understand the opposite point of view.  
Thanks M!!   My thoughts exactly.  My DS was over here yesterday and I told him "I just want you to be happy and I don't think you are.  You are in charge here.  If you need anything from me let me know".  He seemed to appreciate that reaction.  It is so hard not to tell him what to do!  Back to my mantras.....y'all know them!

I am so glad that you are in touch with your DS/DIL!  Most people are facing challenges at work right now if they still have a job. The stresses on families are tremendous and most of us have learned not to confide our problems with many people because the next time we see them the first thing they want to talk about is the last thing we want to focus on.  Our best present to our children is allowing them the privacy to work out their own problems their own way.  To them it reaffirms their adulthood and complements their judgement when we step back and stay quiet. If they need our help they will ask.  To us though it is a really hard thing to do.  We so want to make their lives easier by sharing our hard earned lessons.  It is a challenge to turn over the teacher's role to life but that is what we, as parents, must do.

I am happy that your DS has offered to set up a facetime visit for you with your grands.  So many of us have to be satisfied with these less than optimal forms of getting together.  My grands were here yesterday as their last visit before in person school starts (today).  I am going to miss them horribly but I would rather miss them for a year than possibly die and have them miss me forever.  I never thought I would have to make choices like this.  What a sad time to live through.

My fingers are crossed for you!! 

I know how getting those messages must hurt!!  Are they coming in on your phone?  If they are you can turn off the notification so that you won't know she sent something until you feel like checking.  I had to set my Facebook setting so that I did not know when my DIL posted.  It just hurt too much.  Now I go in and check her page when I feel up to it.  It made a world of difference when I stopped getting blindsided by her posts.

Hang in there!  The fact that she is still texting is actually a good sign.  She wants to inflict pain on you because she knows that you will always love her so she can spew her anger at you and not lose you in the process.  Not reacting is the best way to go.  Defending yourself will only make things worse.  Sometimes silence speaks louder than words.  I still have hope that she will come around.  Just give her time.

Personally I think it is a good time to reach out to them both.  We are, after all, living through a very stressful time because of the pandemic and talking to or communicating with loved ones is usually welcome.  I would not mention the facebook post to either one of them.  If I had posted something like that and my Mom called me and mentioned it I would feel embarrassed.  Save them the uncomfortable feelings and just call and talk about the things happening in your life and ask how they are handling things.  If they want to confide in you they will.

Hopefully you will hear from others.  What do y'all think?