August 25, 2019, 02:09:29 pm

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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 - Stilllearning

1
Welcome I!!  I am 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.

 I am so sorry for your situation!  I would never wish that on anyone partially because it sounds very much like mine.  I made the mistake of asking my DS (in private) to delay the wedding.  He told his fiance everything I said and it must have come out even worse than when I said it because now her father thinks that I called her a , hmm, lets say a lady of the evening.  No, of course I did not but now I will have to live with that maybe forever.  When she heard she moved the wedding forward by a few months.  Boy did that backfire!

As for attending the wedding, I did and it was the singular most hurtful experience I have ever had.  Don't get me wrong, when I lost my Mom  and later my Dad, both of those were painful.  But at both of those gatherings people were offering condolences, not congratulations.  It was very hard for me to accept their congratulations.  It was difficult to feel so hurt around people who were so joyful.  That said, I am glad I went because it kept the door for communication open and it let my DS know that I had not deserted him.  He knew (and knows still) that I am always here for him.

Don't get me wrong, things have not been all rosy since then.  I was still very hurt and resentful of what my DS and DIL had done to me and were continuing to do.  That did not change until I changed.  I finally decided (way too late!) that my life was too valuable to waste it trying to make things better for my DS especially when my efforts were so obviously unwanted.  So I started concentrating on things that made me happy.  It is amazing how difficult it is as a mother to shift your focus from your child back to yourself.  For some reason we have convinced ourselves that we are not "good mothers" if we stop trying to 'fix' things for our children.  Well, in my case it turns out that my attempts at 'fixing' things were just keeping my DS from learning from his experiences.  He needed to figure things out on his own.  Since I pulled back and stopped offering advice or telling him what I think our relationship has recovered.  He is an amazing parent and I honestly believe that on occasion he tells his wife not to treat me so badly.  What a turn around!  Truly amazing.

As for your question, no you are not being too sensitive but I honestly do not think anything you and your side of the family say will change anything.  If it does more power to you.  I certainly hope it does not backfire like mine did.  If it does, oh well.  I remember when my DS told my DH and I that they were pregnant and the first words out of my DH's mouth were "We have got to move out of town".  Total shock from both of them.  Things have improved since then but still I will never truly love or trust my DIL.  Sad, but true.  I hope things work out better for you!

Hugs. 
2
Another thing I learned that might help you is that I control who makes me mad.  When I "let" someone "make" me mad I have given the power to them.  Or rather my third mantra:

Those who anger you, control you.  Take back your power!!

Hugs again! 

Hang in there! 
3
Grandchildren / Re: Jealous grandmother
August 06, 2019, 03:07:05 pm
Welcome Jand!  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.

Although your situation is unique in that you are not a blood relative we have had several grandmothers who were in similar situations when their DIL's felt resentful of the love and attention their grandchildren showed to the grands, ignoring the parent. 

I once had a neighbor who's daughter would rather spend time at my house than her own.  She loved playing with my DS (same age)but more than that she loved the hugs that flowed freely from me to any child in the vicinity.  I will always remember the first time I hugged her.  She stood there shocked so I asked if I could hug her again.  She said yes and I spent the next ten minutes asking the same question over and over again and hugging her.  Her mother eventually got jealous too and the little girl who was about 4 at the time was told she could not visit me anymore.  She would sneak away from home anyway and come to my house.  Then I would get a call from her mother asking if she was at my house and I would say yes.  I found out after a few times that she was sneaking over and getting spanked every time she came over but she still came anyway.  My heart broke.  One of the hardest things I have ever done was to tell her she couldn't come over anymore because I didn't want her to get spanked.  She moved away a few months later.  I still think about her and wonder how she is doing.  She is a young adult now.  I hope she eventually found a loving home for herself and her children (if she has any).

I had to face the horrible fact that I could not help her any more than I already had.  Hopefully I let her know that all homes were not like her childhood home and she could set her sights on the home she wanted and not settle for the kind of home she was raised in.  There were many, many indications for me that the home she was raised in was horribly dysfunctional. 

Hopefully someone else on this site will pipe in with some wonderful idea that will save you from the fate I have had to live with.

Hugs!
4
Helpful Resources / Letting go
August 01, 2019, 01:52:49 am
I just found this video and wanted to share it with you.   I hope it speaks to you the way it did to me!


5
Welcome A!!  We are glad you found us.  Now let me get the official stuff out of the way.......

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 edited your post a little.  If I can figure out the word you meant we edit it out.  Sorry!

I am so sorry that you are in this situation!  My DF was not in the picture so you have an added level of angst that I did not have to deal with.  I am sure that I would have told my DF that I thought he was getting milked every time I talked to him about my DIL (except honestly he would have been furious at the way my DIL treated me and I doubt he would give her the time of day, much less 40k!) but there is not much else you can do about your DF giving his money to her.  If you DD wants the perfume then I would send her the money for postage but I would make it a point to casually mention it to my DF the next time you talk to him.  Once the money for postage is sent (you could send her stamps so she can only use it for postage...) I would put the entire event out of my mind and spend my time trying to enjoy my life. 

Here is what I find happened to me when my DS picked what I thought was a totally inappropriate spouse......I thought about it all the time.  I mean all the time!  The more I thought about it the worse I felt.  The worse I felt the more I complained.  The more I complained the more people wanted to avoid me.  The more people avoided me the more time I had to think.  The more time I had to think the more I thought about.....well you get it!  It was a total circle, a whirlwind, a whirlpool that sucked me down into what I now call the abyss.  I lived in that abyss for longer than I had to, actually I lived there until I found this website.  I was totally miserable and so was everyone around me.  My marriage suffered and my younger son actually lost his mother for a while because all I could think about was my horrible DIL.

Here, in a nutshell (hopefully!) is what I learned.  I am responsible for my own happiness.  If I am unhappy thinking about something that I cannot change my only option is to stop thinking about it and start thinking about something else.  So now when my mind starts its descent into the abyss I pull it back and start thinking about something else.  Something that makes me happy.  Something that I enjoy.  It puts me on an even keel and lets me be happy.  I am just too old to let my life get hijacked by something that makes me so sad and mad. 

It has been a few years since I pulled back and stopped trying to fix my DS's life.  I adopted a couple of mantras that might help you:

1) Not my circus, not my monkeys
2) What I focus on expands

Anyway since then I have figured out some things.  My DS had lessons to learn (we are all learning lessons still, even me!) and my constant interjections were actually blocking him from learning those lessons.  He has since learned most of those lessons and we are closer than ever.  Honestly his wife has gotten much better in the last 6 months, a change in medication is working wonders, and for the first time I can see a glimmer of the person he fell in love with.  Things might work out OK in the long run.  Who knows?

The point is that maybe both your son and your father have some lessons to learn and perhaps your best position is on the sidelines watching but not coaching or interfering.  So for now go have some fun and forget about it.  When you cannot change things, worrying about them only ruins your life.  It never helps.

Hugs!!!
6
Welcome G!!  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 had a long discussion with my YS about parenting and its pitfalls.  I told him that he was going to be a great Dad when he decided to have kids but then I followed it with this caveat....when your son/daughter gets to be a teenager they are going to think you are really stupid.  It is part of growing up, it is implanted in their genes to make them leave the pack and strike out on their own.  It is a very difficult thing to live through both as the parent and as the child.  I watch the baby birds this time of year follow their parents around hounding them for food.  It is like the parents cannot eat without the babies being right next to them with their mouths open and their little wings fluttering making the parent feel guilty about every morsel they keep for themselves.  Of course eventually the parent gets sick of it and flies off and never looks back.  They eventually have no choice but nature planned it that way.  It is all a part of life.

My eldest pulled away big time and it hurt me so bad that I thought I would die.  He married a girl we did not approve of and had two children (who are awesome!).  It has been years since the wedding.  Years filled with anguish, resentment, hopelessness and finally acceptance.  The truth is that he has the right to pick his wife and live his life and I have no right to stop him.  My parenting days are over but his are just beginning.  Years ago I stopped trying to 'fix' things and just let the chips fall where they may.  Eventually he noticed that I was no longer knocking at his door and begging to be let in and he started making his own moves toward reconciliation.  It has worked out well for me but I have to be honest.....when I gave up I really gave up.  Whether he came back to us or not did not matter as much as the fact that I needed to retain my dignity and I needed to attend to my marriage (which was sorely hurt by my constant attempts to fix things).

I take the fact that your eldest is on your side to be a true plus.  Remember that what you focus on expands and focus on your eldest and your GC and your DH.  Go out there and enjoy your golden years!!

Hugs!
7
Hi MrsV!!  I am glad you found us!  I have been thinking about your situation and one thing stands out......why did your DIL wait 7 years to start getting an attitude?  Do you think maybe she is having problems with your DS?  Not that it changes matters any but it might make it easier to forgive her. 

Other than that I agree with Luise.  I can only change myself and by and large every time I have tried to suggest that my DS do something differently I have run into a brick wall.  So I learned to focus my life around things that make me happy and ignore the parts I cannot change that make me upset.  My parenting time is over, my DS's parenting time is here.  He will learn his lessons just like I did.

We are here if you need us!!
8
It is because it is so upsetting that you need to take your mind off of it.  Go do something fun with your DD today but make it an absolute must that you do not discuss your DS/DIL and GD.  You should make up a code word like Ice Cream to use to get the other person on another subject.  It could go like this....

"So what is your favorite flavor of Ice Cream?".......

It will be comical after a while, take the pressure off and you will be helping each other learn to point your thoughts in a more pleasant direction.  Have a wonderful holiday weekend!!

Hugs!
9
What a horrible mess!!

Since your DIL gave birth recently maybe you could just chock it up to postpartum stress.  Those hormones can really mess your thinking up and she may still recover her good senses if you give her time.  If you respond now you will only throw more fuel onto a fire that you do not want to burn.  Your DS is probably at his wits end defending you and catty remarks like the one about "giving birth" will probably haunt your DIL in time.  Of course none of this helps you

Here is how you help yourself.  Plan a trip for yourself and your DH.  Go somewhere you always wanted to go.  Spend the money you would have showered on your new granddaughter.  Invite your DD to go with you.  Visit the museums you always wanted to see, or go shopping with your DD.  What do you love to do?  Do it!  And while you are having a ball (this is the hard part) stop thinking about your DS and DIL and their issues (yes, their issues, not yours!).  Parenting is a learning process and you and I both know that they have a lot to learn!  Give them the space to learn their lessons (my bet is your DIL's mother has a few to learn too!).  If you aren't in the way they won't be able to blame you for anything, and trust me if you are there they will almost certainly blame you and make your DS's life miserable defending you.  I know this is not an easy thing to do so I will offer you my mantras:

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

These three saved me and my DS married a bipolar wife against my wishes.  Talk about having to pull my mind away from something!  Ouch!  I finally decided to call that swirling quagmire that sucks my mind into such utter darkness and despair "the abyss" and now anytime I feel my self getting sucked into the abyss I pull out my three mantras and repeat them to myself and anyone around who brought the subject up.  Everyone in my family has heard them repeatedly over the years and eventually they have learned to avoid the subject also.  Finally my life is good, I mean really good!  My marriage is wonderfully solid (it was touch and go there for a while!) and I am planning a trip for next year with my DH and my younger DS.  This year I have spent getting two new knees, not fun at all but at least I live in an age where they can replace them instead of living in the pain I was in. 

Life is good!  Go out and live it, don't waste your golden years trying to fix something that is not in your realm of responsibility.  Put it on the back burner and ignore it.  Time wounds all heels.

Hugs!
10
Grandchildren / Re: Torn
May 23, 2019, 02:36:08 pm
Hi R!  I find it amazing that a 15 year old is texting and sending pictures to his father in the first place.  I would try sending him some silly texts and pictures like when you get caught out in the rain or dribble ice cream down the front of your shirt or anything that lets him know that you are as imperfect as anyone else.  See if that breaks the ice.

Good luck!
11
Welcome H!  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.

My saga started much less amicably than yours.  My DIL let me know in no uncertain terms that I was waaayyy down on her list of priorities.  In retrospect it is almost comical the extremes she went to in order to make sure I felt "left out".  I was not invited to the rehearsal but I was asked to host the rehearsal dinner (which I did).  I found out they had purchased a house after they had moved in and then only by figuring it out from clues on that horrible website Facebook (I was a real estate broker at the time, but they didn't want my opinion!).  I found this website a few weeks before that horrible wedding, when I had to smile and nod in spite of my breaking heart.  This site.......wow, what a lifesaver this site was!

It was here that the wise women told me that it is my job to be happy.  It is my choice what I think about and the less time I spent thinking about my DIL the happier I got.  The truth of the matter is that when I pulled back and stopped trying to 'fix' things my DS eventually noticed.  We were always a close family and he missed us too.  When my first grand was born I stopped by while my DIL was in labor and treated my DS to a meal in the hospital cafeteria.  He got a call to hurry back to the room so we left.  He called us a little while later and asked us to stop by to greet our new grandchild but I said no, let DIL's family have their time and I will see my new granddaughter later.  I think he was surprised by that.

Anyway as time has passed (grands are 5 and 3 now) my DS has made a real effort to connect with us and I have made equal strides to connect with both him and his daughters.  My DIL visits if she feels like it, or not.  Whatever. 

So my thoughts to you are you are dealing with two Mom's of only children and they tend to be really, really, really picky.  If your DS has another child then all of that pickiness will go out the window, kind of like that commercial.  If he does not then you just have to wait until your grandchild is old enough to make their own decisions as to whom she likes.  My bets will be on the grand who doesn't hover over like she is a piece of china.  After all it isn't over till the fat lady sings and I don't hear any music! 

There will probably be others who will chime in!  Hugs!!!
12
Welcome,L. 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.  Also please pick out a different name for this forum.  Luise is the only one allowed to use her real name since this is her forum.  Thanks!

Wow!  What a horrid situation!  Unfortunately I have nothing to offer to "fix" it.  My DS eventually came around once I completely pulled back (and I do mean completely, financially and emotionally) and we now have a developing relationship.  However your situation reminds me more of the situation that my DH has with his sister and she had with my MIL.  She was the eldest and has always resented her siblings just for being born.  She even told my DH's younger sister (while she was in her 60s!) that she should have been an only child.  How do you do that?  I can never figure that one out!  Anyway she never changed.  She is now retired and should be over the less than 20 years she spent with her siblings but she still resents him.  She even took advantage of her demented mother during her mother's last years (until my DH stepped in and stopped it). 

So how do you deal with this?  The same way as the rest of us.  I finally had enough of being mistreated and I decided that trying my best to hang on to a relationship with my DS/ GC was not worth the abuse I was receiving.  That by tolerating it I was teaching my grands that it was OK to treat me (and other people) like that.  I decided that I deserved to enjoy my life and I could do that with or without my DS/GC.  Once I decided that I started focusing on the things in my life that brought me happiness.  When my thoughts turned my DS I would forcefully wrench them back to the things in my life that I enjoy.  My mantras became:

No news is good news
Not my circus, not my monkeys
What you focus on expands

It took a long time and I revisited what I now call "The Abyss" many times and had to pull my thoughts back, but the more I pulled myself back the easier it got.  Things turned around for me long before my relationship with my DS improved.  I started enjoying my life!  What a relief!!

You deserve to enjoy your "after parenting" years!  Hugs!
13
Hi M!  Sounds like you are taking a giant step in the right direction!  When I first decided that I deserved to be treated better it was a huge weight off of my shoulders.  I hadn't realized that as a Mom I had taken on the responsibility for the way my DS was acting.  After all I raised him so it had to be my fault, right?  I was so wrong!  When they get to be adults they are responsible for their own reactions and we, as parents, are not to blame for their mistakes or failures.  Congrats on finally reaching that point!

The next thing I had to deal with were the trips back to what I now call "the abyss" because it sucks you under and drowns your happiness.  It starts with the negative thoughts about myself and how I had to have failed and how I deserve to be treated better and how the DIL's FOO gets all the time with my grands and how they live so close to my DIL's FOO and it spirals downward.  My DS never calls me,  they don't visit,  they wouldn't even notice if I died......I found it so easy to follow that downward spiral that made me feel like dog poo, not worthy of anything.  Here are the mantras I use to pull myself out of the abyss:

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

You can probably make up better ones than mine but reminding myself of these always seems to bring me back to the thoughts that bring me joy.  I still use it when I find my brain visiting places that bring me angst.  I just don't want to go there.  Good luck on your journey and remember that we are here for you if you need us!
14
Hi M!!  I know the resentment that oozes from your post.  Been there, done that.  At least for a while, until I found this website and decided that I deserve better.  I decided that following those commandments was actually doing a disservice to my ACs and grands.  I was teaching them that I was not deserving of common decency and that it was acceptable to treat people the way that I was being treated.  It is not.  Ever.  Period.

Once I decided that I deserved to be treated better there were several things I didn't do.  I didn't call my DS and tell him.  I didn't let him know that I resented the way he had been treating me.  I accepted the fact that I had allowed the situation to escalate to its present condition by deciding that my DS had all of the power over the relationship just because he had fathered two wonderfully cute and loving children.  I stopped looking at what was wrong in my life (relationship with DS/DIL) and started looking at what was right in my life (DH/younger son).  What you focus your thoughts on expands, so in the next few weeks I tried to think only about the parts of my life that brought me joy.  Whenever my thoughts wandered into the realms that brought me angst I would drag my mind away with the mantra "No news is good news" and force myself to think about something else.  It took a lot of practice but it gets easier with time.  It didn't take long for me to see the difference!  My relationship with my DH improved almost immediately.  I hadn't realized how unimportant he was feeling because all I could think about, all I could talk about was how to "fix" things with my DS/DIL.  Once I stopped that and started concentrating on him, my relationship with him and our enjoyment of life, well, what can I say, that part of my life expanded and I started living again.

Eventually my DS noticed that I not calling.  Not texting.  Not trying to 'fix' things. (It took a while though!) We have now settled into a very comfortable relationship where I get to see my grands fairly often (could be more if I wanted it to be).  He comes over and brings the grands and we spend the day catching up on everything.  He calls me every once in a while and I return the favor (but not too often...).  I am finally happy with my life and deservedly enjoying my golden years.  I hope you can get here too!

Hugs from ALL of us!!!
15
Hi C and welcome to the site! I hope you have checked out our Forum agreement under the "Open Me First" page to be sure that we are a good fit for your needs.  We are a monitored website.

Your post sounds like you are absolutely stuck in your situation, a daughter with MS.......how could anyone make her fend for herself?  Sad that you had to take on the boyfriend too but I trust your judgement about that situation. 

I have just one question.....What are you doing for yourself?  You are taking care of everyone else (even the boyfriend) but are you taking care of yourself?  I tended to put everyone else's needs and desires before my own.  As mothers we are actually programmed to do this.  The entire time we are raising children it is very important to put their needs first but lets face it, my kids are grown.  Their happiness is their responsibility and comes as a direct result from their decisions since they stopped listening to me. I now live by a couple of sayings......

1) What you focus on expands!  (So I try to keep my focus on the good things in my life....it works!)
2) No news is good news!  (So I stopped worrying about what they were doing/thinking/blaming me for)
3) Not my circus, not my monkeys   (a reminder that I could not "fix" their problems, they had to)

My life has changed in marvelous ways since I started using this approach.  I know that you have your DD living with you but I feel certain you could employ at least a little of this method.  Good luck!!