January 19, 2021, 07:48:28 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
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?

Hugs!
2
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).

Hugs!!
3
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. 

Hugs!!
4
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!

Hugs!
5
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.
6
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.

Hugs!!
7
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.

Hugs!
8
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.  
9
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!

Hugs!
10
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.

Hugs!!
11
My fingers are crossed for you!! 

Hugs!
12
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.

Hugs!
13
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?

Hugs!!
14
L, I am so sorry that this happened to you!  If I have one piece of advice it would be to never go the the therapist with her!  I went with my DIL and the two of them spent the entire time making excuses for her and blaming me for things.  It was awful!  It was the straw that broke the camel's back.  When I walked out of the therapists office I swore I wouldn't call my DS again.  At least my reaction to the visit was absolute rage instead of feeling hurt.  Oh the crocodile tears my DIL wept that day.  I was completely and utterly done.  Come to think of it I might really owe that therapist a favor.  Without her I might still be trying to placate my DIL.  Not any more.  She can get over what I say or not.  It is all up to her.

Letting it rest sounds like a good idea.  It may take a while for your DD to realize that you are not calling her but eventually she will.  I hope she will continue to get the help she needs.  Often therapy starts out with the patient complaining about their parents or their siblings.  The patient has to work through the full gambit of their emotional baggage before he/she realizes that although they remember an incident in a certain way their memories are from a child's point of view.  When your DD is ready I think she will get back in touch with you and you will have an opportunity to get to know the adult your DD has become.  In the meantime it is your job to enjoy life.  You deserve to have fun! 

Hugs!!!!
15
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.

Sorry but computer problems had me out of touch for a while.  I certainly remember being where you are!  The decision to turn my attentions to other things was less of a decision and more of a desperate act.  The harder I tried to "fix" things the worse things got.  I was totally miserable and so was everyone around me.  I had turned into the person nobody wanted to sit next to.  I couldn't talk about anything else and talking about my situation brought no relief, no comfort and no solution. 

It was the wonderful women on here that told me that I deserved better.  I really hadn't considered that I could have a life even if my DS was not in it.  It was beyond my comprehension that I could be happy if I didn't hear from him.  Then one day I realized that when I did not contact him, I had a better day.  I stopped calling him.  I stopped texting him.  I stopped chasing after him trying to fix things.  Life improved.

Over time relations have gotten much better between my DS and myself but when I stopped contacting him I had no idea how things would end up.  I really had to give him up to get him back.  I look at it like this (now).  It was like I was always knocking on his door, always, always.  Occasionally he would open that door and I would say something about how I hadn't heard from him or seen him in days/weeks.  He would get disgusted and close the door.  I would return to knocking, knocking, knocking.  Eventually he would gird himself for another confrontation and open the door and I would again say something about how I hadn't seen/heard from him in days/ weeks.  No wonder he didn't want to open the door!  So when I stopped knocking he didn't notice for a while but eventually (months later) he opened the door and found me out enjoying life.  I had fun things to talk to him about.  I didn't even bring up how long it had been because I was too busy telling him about my camping and canoeing trips.  It was a real difference!

I know you read my post that has my mantras on it:
https://www.wisewomenunite.com/index.php/topic,7915.0/topicseen.html

I won't go through the work of rewriting those :) !

I do want to say that if you decide to pull away like I did you should be aware that once you climb out of "the abyss" it is really easy to get sucked back in.  It will happen almost before you know it.  I would start thinking about something and it would lead to my DS and down the rabbit hole I would go.  For me the only way to stay out of "the abyss" was to use my mantras.  I still pull them out and use them when needed.  I just found out that my DIL thinks she is a man.  WOW!  Talk about "not my circus, not my monkeys"!!

Anyway your DD has her own lessons to learn now.  You did your best raising her but your job is done.  It is up to her from here.  Take your life back.  Have some fun.  You deserve to enjoy your life.

Sooooo many hugs!!