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Topics - Monroe

I'm late to the party with this response, but the original post was about how the expectant couple told his mother about the baby by texting a picture of the pregnancy test results.  After that, his mother was chilly to the DIL. 

One other factor to consider is whether the grandmother-to-be might think a text announcement is a bit impersonal.  And that would be on the son as well as on the DIL.   Probably more so on the son since that was the way he wanted to tell his mother. 

If I were to receive a text that my son and DIL were expecting, I would find it a very impersonal way to share very special news with me.  That would deflate my interest in the event. 

Our son did call to tell us when he and our DIL were expecting.   We had a nice, personal conversation in which we could share our excitement and tell him how much we loved him.   His wife was not on that call.   Her choice - of course - but she missed an opportunity to share wonderful news with us and create a bond.  The kid is a year old now, and she has yet to mention the pregnancy, the baby, or the significant gift we sent.   If I had only her to rely on, I would not yet even know I was a grandmother.

So maybe this grandmother's impersonal attitude is a reflection of the impersonal manner in which her son chose to tell her.   

We had a death in the family not too long ago - elderly parent.  I received many cards, letters and phone calls, and I deeply appreciated each and every one of them.   What I did not appreciate, and was actually offended by, were emails from people expressing sympathy for the loss of my parent.  How lame.   My parent died, and they couldn't bother to pick up the phone and talk to me personally or send a card or hand-written note.  That would be too much trouble.  I'm sure it is somewhat of a generational thing with me, but to send a sympathy message electronically really rubbed me the wrong way.  I am afraid I would have the same reaction to an electronic notification of my son having a child. 
We all know marriage is tough - but I am wondering how many weddings are actually happy affairs, or if it is typical for families of the bride and groom to be gritting their teeth to get through it? 

On the surface, all is happy and lovely, but having been behind the scenes at several weddings now it occurs to me that, while the bride and groom are happy and well-matched, for the families to get together can be a clash of cultures and expectations and hurt feelings. 

I am aware of a situation where there was room for 130 people.  The bride's family allotted ten seats for the mother of the groom to issue invitations.  The groom had a few on the primary list - but the parents of the groom were only allowed to invite ten people - while the brides parents invited dozens. 

At another wedding the mother of groom was never told when pictures would be taken.  She assumed after the ceremony - and was surprised when pictures were all over by the time she arrived. 

In another situation, the groom's friends were totally obnoxious, chanting for the groom to smash cake in the bride's face, which would have ruined her hair, dress, etc.  This deeply offended the parents of the bride - the mother of the bride was in tears for a week afterwards - so hurt that "friends" would propose such an attack. 

I am just wondering if many weddings are genuinely happy for the families, or only for the bride and groom.  I am beginning to think there is a lot of unhappiness and resentment at weddings on the part of the families - but it is all glossed over. 

What do you all think?
Daughter in Laws and/or Son in Laws / Big News
February 07, 2016, 08:20:35 am
So the call came last night.   By way of background, DS is married to chilly DIL, who has demonstrated for years that she wants little to do with us.   But last night the phone rang - DS wanted to speak with both of us.   Told us they are expecting.   

They live far away - so a phone call to announce was most appropriate.  But the call was from him alone.  DIL was there but didn't bother to participate in the call.   DS made a point of wanting me and my DH on the phone to break the news - but DIL was not part of it at all.   

She has given us the cold shoulder for years, so I am not shocked she didn't bother to participate in the announcement.  Not even surprised, actually. I can't help feeling more and more shut out. 

I just feel empty.   Not excited, not anything.   Just empty.   DS is further and further away from us all the time.   And I am confident I will never get to know this baby.   Not sure I even want to since DIL will be in control of everything, and I am clearly not welcome.   But it must all be OK with DS or it wouldn't happen this way.   

Just feeling discouraged.   Any thoughts, wise ladies?

Daughter in Laws and/or Son in Laws / No Win deal
May 26, 2015, 09:09:50 pm
It has finally sunk in.  I think some MILs are simply dealt a no-win hand.  Sure, some MILs are difficult - but not all of us are.  And some DILs are wonderful.  I think the DILs that come to this site (WWU) are well-intentioned and seeking good relationships with their MILs, if I may engage in a generalization. 

But what opened my eyes was surfing the web, and coming across another forum, which seemed to be devoted to simply bashing the MIL.  I read a few threads, and was thinking to myself - that poor woman (MIL) the poster (DIL) is talking about never had a chance.   I looked at the complaints as posted by the DIL, and found myself thinking that the MIL had not done anything wrong - but the DIL did not see it that way.  The posts were vitriolic and hateful.  Obviously the moderators did not follow Luise's rules! 

I'm not saying my DIL is vitriolic.  She is not (to my knowledge).  She is simply indifferent.  Her choice.  But looking at the hateful site made me see for the first time that some MILs never are given a chance.  I certainly have not been.   She is totally indifferent to me as a person - and nothing I can ever do will ever change that.   

If all I had to judge by were the sincere, caring DILs one finds here, I might never have come to that realization.   But some MILs simply never have a chance.   I see it now.   
This is a general piece of advice for the younger DILs out there.  And not for all of you, as I know that some of you have truly horrific MILs and FILs.  This is for the DILs whose in-laws are not just awful, just annoying.

Here goes - -  if between you and your husband, you take a "They are YOUR family, YOU deal with them" attitude, and you deal with your own FOO by yourself, you are losing a partner who could be quite valuable in years to come.  My DH I have been married 30 years, both sets of our parents are quite elderly - and it is so nice that he and I help each other with our respective parents. 

Example, I go to all the doctors appointments with my FIL.  He is in his 90's - and needs a family member with him at the doctor.  His son - my DH - cannot take half a day every time his dad needs to go to the doctor.  My schedule is flexible, I can go, and I do.  It helps my FIL, and means so much to my DH that he doesn't have to try to track the doctor down by phone later in the day.  I give him a full report and help with whatever medical decisions need to be made. 

What goes around comes around - and my DH helps with my parents.  My dad is also in his 90's, surrounded by women all the time.  Just today, my DH called my Dad, and invited him to lunch, just the two of them.  They went to a place that is geared towards men - something Dad would not want to do so much with me.  Dad got some male companionship ( which can be in short supply when you are 90+ ) - and my husband has a very appreciative wife. 

Soooo - I hate to sound like a PollyAnna - but if your in-laws are not truly awful, it could benefit you and your DH in the long run if you help each other in those in-law relationships.  Just saying. 
Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Defining love
April 24, 2014, 12:36:11 pm
Hi everybody - been gone a while, but still reading.  I would like your help in defining love. 

I always had a good relationship with my mother - who is now a very elderly invalid.  Several years ago (and it was gradual) the personality change began.  For fifty years, she was a wonderful, loving mom.  At first it was isolated incidents - now it is constant complaints, criticisms, etc.   She has become very demanding (we have 24/7 care for her - but she is isolated and still demanding of the adult children's time and attention).  My siblings do their share - I don't bear the majority of the responsibility.  But I am the one in her cross-hairs.  I am exhausted.  Still visit because my sweet father is still living.  But I am exhausted and dread seeing her, since it will be just more complaints. 

Not all complaints are directed at me -- sometimes she just wants to criticize other people and have me join in - which I refuse to do.  I don't like it when grade-schoolers are bullies and pick on other kids.  I'm not about to join in a gossip-fest criticizing this neighbor or that old friend - or even her DIL.  So when she criticizes this or that relative, I just say, "Mom, I think he/she is nice - or trying as hard as he/she can - or I say this is really none of our business.  Like when a cousin got divorced she wanted me to ask around and find out why they got divorced.  No way in  &%$#**  am I ever going to do that!! 

It's driving me nuts.  I want to think that I love her, but I don't feel it.  I don't enjoy her company at all.  I just brace myself for the complaints, the outbursts of temper - the twisting/distorting of what I say or do - so that she can complain about me later.  But I do my duty.  I visit 2-3 times a week.  I take over little treats.  I am all smiles - and never fail to give her a kiss when I leave.  I don't tell her what to do - no suggestions from me - the caregivers can do that, as she resents any suggestions from her children. 

But I am going nuts.  I want to think that I love her.  I know I did.  I know I love the mother she was.  There's just nothing likable about who she is now.  But I do still do my duty.

Does love have to include warm fuzzes?  If I honor her position as my mother - if I do my duty - If I "hum a few bars and fake it" by always smiling, visiting, taking treats, - even tho it is just on the surface - does that count as love? 

Can duty count as love? 

I have to continually battle not to feel guilty - but the only way to please her is to spend hours a day with her, and join in mean gossip about the few people she still knows who aren't dead. 

Please - I want to love her - how can I feel that I do if all I feel is a sense of duty?  Does that count???

Thanks, ladies. 

Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Difficult mother
August 18, 2013, 09:06:42 pm
On the DIL board, it's not just about difficult DILs.  The DILs are able to post about difficult MILS.  This is the adult child board, where moms can post about issues with adult children.  I'd like to post, as an adult child, about issues with a difficult mother.  Not difficult MIL, difficult biological mother. 

Happy home life, good relationship through the years, good relationship with father and mother.  Good relationships between my children and their grandparents.  But as my DM has aged (now late 80's) she has become extremely difficult.  I can't do anything right.  My siblings are attentive adult children - but due to busy careers or living out of town, I am the most available adult child.  Therefore I am the one to do most of the care taking.  They get the royal treatment - she is excited to see them, as they are not all that available.  I, however, am Cinderella - only no prince and no ball to attend.  I am just the servant. 

I have been biting my tongue, but am about to throw in the towel.  Nothing I do is right.  I even get criticized if I take her flowers.  She used to be a loving mother.  Now she is critical of everything and everyone.  I just can't take it anymore.  I did see a counselor - who advised me to get out of the line of fire - i.e. - avoid her.  Only when I avoid her, I am not seeing my father - who is a dear sweet man.  I want to see and care for him - but she is driving me away.  I really can't take it anymore.  Help!!!! -- I am losing my sanity.

Daughter in Laws and/or Son in Laws / Doe, we miss you
February 05, 2013, 07:48:11 pm
Have not seen anything from Doe for quite some time.  I always enjoy her posts.  Doe, I hope all is well with you.  I miss you.  Hope you post again soon, even if it's just to tell us you are OK
Daughter in Laws and/or Son in Laws / wedding etiquette
January 19, 2013, 08:01:23 pm
Question - for those of you experienced with large weddings -

I had never heard of such a thing as a bridesmaids' luncheon - hosted by the bride.  I understand it is for the bride to thank the members of the wedding party.  What is the etiquette for such an event? Who is invited?  Anyone out there have any experience in this sort of thing? 
Daughter in Laws and/or Son in Laws / Stuck in neutral
December 24, 2012, 09:14:42 am
DH and I have backed off and backed off from DIL for several years now.  We have good relationship with DS - but he chose for his life partner a woman who has had zero interest in his parents since long before they were even engaged.  We tried and tried, but a couple of years ago simply accepted the status (refer to Serenity Prayer, everyone) - and moved on with our lives with people who value us and their relationships with us.  We remained civil to DIL - and never uttered a word of criticism about her to DS.  From all appearances, they seem to be happily married, and we do want DS to be happy.  So we kept our mouths shut. 

We have become very comfortable with this structure.  Good relationship with DS, non-relationship with DIL.  DS and DIL appear to be quite happy together.  And we get our fair share of family time on holidays - so no issues there.

We bend over backwards to not put DS in middle - therefore we NEVER criticize DIL.  Ever. 

So I'm totally comfortable with this.  Frankly, I kind of like it.  Not having to make an effort towards someone who has made clear her disinterest in us. 

So what's the problem?   Now, after all this WWU therapy, after memorizing and reciting daily the Serenity Prayer, after LIKING the set-up of not having to pretend to care for a woman who set the tone of the relationship nearly a decade ago - now guess what?   DIL is trying to cozy up to me. 

I'm not elated.  I'm not thrilled.  I dialed back to lukewarm long, long, ago.  I am civil.  I don't think I am capable of more than that.  So what do I do? 

I'd like to keep it the way it has been the last few years - I've grown comfortable with that.  Would like advice of what to do.  Help, ladies.  And Merry Christmas.
I used to think we had a DIL problem.  Our DIL has always been aloof to DH and me, possessive of DS, and unappreciative of gifts or other welcoming gestures from us.  She repeatedly rejected our FOO, and made it clear she doesn't want much to do with us.  But now I have decided that it is not a DIL problem at all.  It is a DS problem. 

I am not hurt by DIL's behavior, because I long ago quit expecting anything from her in the way of warmth or caring.  We are on excellent terms with DS, but DS is clearly aware of DIL's treatment of us.  DS compartmentalizes - he has a life with her, a relationship with us, but it is pretty separate. 

I find that I am hurt.  Not by DIL.  One must invest one's feelings in order to become hurt, and I invest no feelings in DIL. 

No, I find that I am hurt by DS.  DH and I go out of our way to never say an unkind word about DIL. :-X  (Basically we just don't mention her).  Our interactions with DS are always pleasant. Because we don't want DS to feel "caught in the middle",  we say nothing about DIL's demeanor.  We don't want to be accused of making DS "choose sides." (Plus the fact that DH and I would be on the losing side.  Guaranteed.) 

So the scenario is . . .  DIL treats us shabbily.  We smile and say nothing and we all pretend.  It's like the elephant in the living room.  Everybody knows it is there - but nobody says a word. 

What's bothering me is that DS seems to be fine with DIL treating us poorly.  I recognize that he loves her and that she is first in his life, but it hurts that our adult son would think it is OK for his wife to be so rude to his FOO.  It's not that it hurts for HER to treat us that way.  What hurts is that DS tolerates his wife treating his parents that way. 

Any advice?
Today's Dear Abby column made me feel like the man with no shoes who complains until he sees the man with no feet.   

Today's column had a letter from a future bride who resented her future MIL's request for copies of some snapshots from the young woman's picture album.  Rather than being flattered that the future MIL WANTED pictures of the young woman, this future DIL said she didn't understand why the FMIL didn't just take her own pictures of the happy couple. 

The Dear Abby response was to the effect that the FMIL obviously had warm feelings for the FDIL, or would not have asked for pics.  Dear Abby advised the young woman to "become less territorial". 

Good for Dear Abby!!!

Anyway, I have never been so intrusive as to ask for pictures (except for the wedding pictures) - and I don't think my DIL would object if I DID ask for pics.   So there is a young woman out there who is MORE territorial than my DIL!!!

Hey, I may not have any shoes, but at least I have feet!  :) ;) ;D ;D ;)