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Problem Solving => Daughter in Laws and/or Son in Laws => Topic started by: AnnieB on August 20, 2009, 11:08:14 am

Title: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: AnnieB on August 20, 2009, 11:08:14 am
I text messaged my son to find out if my letter of apology got read -- it was intended to be a way to open communications with my DIL.   On the bright side (depending on your view of the world), they are still together.   On the other side, she hasn't read my letter.  It's there.  But "this will take a while" my son said.

I had planned to call her on her birthday to touch base... but now of course I won't.  I told him that and also said I was done with the drama.  Feel like I'm digging my own hole, but.. really, she is making such a huge drama over something that doesn't have to be a major event.   And it's just so rude not even to open my letter. 

(link is back to some of the essence of the story, which I wish I could forget). 


http://www.wisewomenunite.com/index.php/topic,5.msg555.html#msg555 (http://www.wisewomenunite.com/index.php/topic,5.msg555.html#msg555)
Would I have children again, Ann Landers?   Let me think on that...

Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: just2baccepted on August 20, 2009, 12:11:03 pm
AnnieB - I bet DIL did read the letter she's just being a turkey.  I'm just curious what would happen if you asked your son to see you without his petty wife?  Would crap hit the fan?  I just think if I was in that situation possibly I would ask my son if we could start a relationship without DIL since DIL obviously doesn't want to see you.  Just throwing that out there.

By the way I'm the one that gave you a +, the reason I did was because one your answers was so good that I plan to read it to my hubby!
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: AnnieB on August 20, 2009, 12:25:41 pm
Aw, just2b, thank you!   ;D

That's real good advice which I intend to use... 

After I posted I called a friend who is a sounding board and therapist (she's about to become a MIL, let us pray)....  she essentially said the same thing, too, so with advice from 2 wise women, as soon as I cool down a bit, that's where I am going.   

Just not gonna play the game anymore, this is now the DIL's drama.

Sad thing is, by responding (or not) as she has, she's taken a bad situation and made it so much worse.   At this point I do not care what she does with my letter. Growing up verbally put down and abused by my mother, it took some time and therapy for me to be able to recognize it. 

If my son accepts if for himself that's his choice.  But she's trying to control and manipulate and abuse me with this condescending behavior - it makes me feel a sickness in my stomach (because it's familiar).   I just can't allow her to treat me like that.

I truly wish my son wouldn't allow her to do this to his mother, either.  Or himself.  Or his son.  But... that's another step.  I do want to stay in touch with him (more difficult since he's so far away).

Thanks! 
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: Prissy on August 20, 2009, 01:09:52 pm
Oh, AnnieB!!!!!!  Oh my goodness!  If you ask to see son without DIL's permission it will be H. E. DOUBLE TOOTHPICKS!!!  This is one of the Daughter in law rules.

I'm so afraid for you to do that.  I might be wrong in this case but I've read so many, many things about "his needy Mother asked to see my DH without my permission.  She has crossed the boundaries.  They are meeting in secret. 

He will tell her what you said and she will draw her own conclusions. It could be good and it could be awful.  No matter what your son says to her, she will use this against you, I fear.

Do what your heart tells you to do but oh my gosh!!! Could be danger!!
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: Prissy on August 20, 2009, 02:53:43 pm
Dear Sassy,
I wish you and your soon to be husband all the best.  I hope that over time, her heart will not be as hardened toward you and she will learn her lesson. It seems like you've done all you can.  :)
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: AnnieB on August 20, 2009, 04:41:18 pm
Quote from: Prissy on August 20, 2009, 01:09:52 pm
Oh, AnnieB!!!!!!  Oh my goodness!  If you ask to see son without DIL's permission it will be H. E. DOUBLE TOOTHPICKS!!!  This is one of the Daughter in law rules.

I'm so afraid for you to do that.  I might be wrong in this case but I've read so many, many things about "his needy Mother asked to see my DH without my permission.  She has crossed the boundaries.  They are meeting in secret. 

He will tell her what you said and she will draw her own conclusions. It could be good and it could be awful.  No matter what your son says to her, she will use this against you, I fear.

Do what your heart tells you to do but oh my gosh!!! Could be danger!!


;D  I love that H E Double Toothpicks!!!!  ;D ;D ;D

You know, sometimes you do something and it feels right... that's what this felt like.  A light went on, a load lifted.   

Enough is enough.  She has been controlling him by controlling me, and I was letting her control me.

No more.

I am not going to be involved in the game.  Whether or not he tells her is his decision.  If I'm out,  I'm out.   As are his two brothers.  And possibly his father (we are friends).

This is not how I can continue to live my life and be whole and well.  I don't believe I'll lose him for good -- but that's the chance I take.  If I continue to let her manipulate me, I'm encouraging my son to accept her abuse and demonstrating to myself and my 18 year old son that I allow myself to be abused.   There comes a time when you just have to say, no more.

But thank you for your kind words....  :D

Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: Prissy on August 20, 2009, 05:07:25 pm
I think when you reach the point where you are, then all bets are off.  It's easier to say your piece when you know what might be coming and you're prepared for it.

Many blessings!!!!!
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: luise.volta on August 20, 2009, 07:48:19 pm
Well, you sound pretty sure of yourself. That's good. My guess is that Prissy is right but if you are willing to suffer the consequences...then the time has come.

I once told my son I "had no choice" regarding some kind of an issue, (I've forgotten what), but I haven't forgotten what he said..."There are always choices, we just don't want to face the consequences of our actions."

The fact that you have felt a weight lift feels promising to me. I can usually depend on that kind of response in myself as a thumbs up.
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: Prissy on August 21, 2009, 08:07:29 am
That is wonderful, Anna!!!  She holds the key to any relationship with your son!  Without her okay, it's not happening.

I think that women (I am one so I can elaborate) have taken their role as "boss" to the max in today's world. Sure, in the past, women were treated horribly in some cases but really, they rule today.

In some ways this has emasculated men; they don't know where they fit in.  They are laughing stocks on TV. They are shown as bumbling idiots so no wonder they get in the corner and say nothing when a relationship problem arises.  They want a happy home?  Obey the wife.

I'm seeing a reduction in the number of people who even think marriage is worth it.  Men seem more reluctant than ever to get into the institution.

I have a friend whose son did the strangest thing after his divorce from his wife.  He started dating this great young woman and asked her:  "look, I love my parents and that includes my Mother. I want to marry you because I love you but I need to ask you to treat my Mother with respect and not hound me night and day about who I love the best. I also ask you to act like you care for her when you're around her.  Can you do that?"

Listen to her reply: "I would never even consider marrying you unless you respected your parents.  If I see that you treat your Mother right, I know you'll treat me right.  So, on those grounds, yes, I'll marry you."

Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: just2baccepted on August 21, 2009, 08:26:02 am
Oh I'm so glad!!  Its a step right?  I will certainly pray that she will have her heart open to you.  I believe in miracles and and that God can do anything!
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: Prissy on August 21, 2009, 08:32:22 am
 :-\
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: Prissy on August 21, 2009, 08:35:06 am
Where did my post go?  I was going on and on about my pluses and poof!, it left the earth.  >:(

I was telling you all how conceited I am getting and totally full of myself. YAY  :P

I'm gaining on Luise.  Oh, the joy!  :-[
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: luise.volta on August 21, 2009, 03:00:07 pm
I would be extremely careful about using writing as a medium for resolution. It is sequentially unilateral and you don't get the tone of voice, the facial expression or the body language, so it is very easy to make assumptions on both sides. It can also easily accelerate through misunderstanding.

Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: just2baccepted on August 21, 2009, 03:42:04 pm
Prissy when you said   "I have a friend whose son did the strangest thing after his divorce from his wife.  He started dating this great young woman and asked her:  "look, I love my parents and that includes my Mother. I want to marry you because I love you but I need to ask you to treat my Mother with respect and not hound me night and day about who I love the best. I also ask you to act like you care for her when you're around her.  Can you do that?"

I have to be honest the first thing that would go through my mind is one of two things:  Is he a momma's boy who can't indivuate from his mom?  Or is there something wrong with his mom or family that would cause me to not want to be close to them.  See that's my life experiences coming into play.

I know that's a tough one.
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: Prissy on August 21, 2009, 03:50:57 pm
Just2be,
This guy was married to a woman who not only berated him constantly but also was not nice to his Mother in front of him.

He's a great guy, great looking with the best parents. His Mom is the cutest thing and their family is a good one. His Mother told me that his wife hurt her feelings so much when she would talk to him the way she did.

His Mom never said anything to his wife but he divorced her because of the way she treated him and, the unnecessary way she treated his Mother.  She was a mean little woman.  No reason on earth to treat them like that and for sure her own husband.

The new wife is darling.....loves all of them and if you could see the pictures from Christmas of him when he was with his former wife and the new one?  You would not know this was the same guy.  He is so happy.  Just beaming.
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: luise.volta on August 21, 2009, 03:54:42 pm
I think if a guy said that to me now, I would probably say something like..."It sounds like you have had some negative experiences with your mom and your women friends. Care to talk about it? Because at this time, at least, it's not about me. And I have to add that I have learned never to promise how I will react in any given situation because too often I surprise and occasionally disappoint myself."

But I don't have to worry...at 82, MILs are the least of my worries!  ;D :D ;)
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: Prissy on August 21, 2009, 07:57:52 pm
Luise,
I have evidently gone about explaining this wrong. I'm sorry I can't word it properly.  It is simply one great guy who married a woman and they didn't get along.  He married again and he is happy.  End of story.

His Mother is a wonderful woman, they have a great family and this new wife fits in beautifully, which was obviously important to him.  The look on his face in the family photos tells the whole story. 
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: luise.volta on August 21, 2009, 09:02:24 pm
I got that, Prissy...but at first it sounded as though we were being asked what we thought of his initial remarks to the women. I was just playing with that. All is well.
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: AnnieB on August 22, 2009, 09:51:28 am
I know we've changed topics here, but just for an update.. my son called me (remember he's 3,914 miles away, so we can't drop in) and said she had read the letter but doesn't want to talk about it.   She is not 'ready' to talk to me.  She's upset because our relationshipship has been changed from what it was.... but she doesn't want to talk about it.  As to coming to visit some time, I am welcome as long as I don't talk about it.
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: Prissy on August 22, 2009, 10:15:25 am
Oh, AnnieB, my total negativity will show again, but see?  The DIL can do whatever she wants to do and takes your son with her. It's all up to her.

Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: luise.volta on August 22, 2009, 10:16:15 am
Well, I have been brought up short many times, too, about perceptions. I have thought I knew what was going on with another person only to find I was way out in left field.

How can you be anywhere but in the dark if the subject has been banned? Beyond silence always comes assumption and speculation. How sad that your DIL is dictating impasse.
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: AnnieB on August 22, 2009, 11:06:41 am
Quote from: Prissy on August 22, 2009, 10:15:25 am
Oh, AnnieB, my total negativity will show again, but see?  The DIL can do whatever she wants to do and takes your son with her. It's all up to her.


Not sure how you see that, Prissy.  If I want, I can talk to him ad naseum about this, I just can't talk to her about it -- yet.  My feeling is that the interaction between us caught her by surprise -- she has some fear that if I see her as less than perfect, I won't care about her at all.  And probably she thought I was "perfect" because I never challenged her.   

I actually see some possibility of growth here, though it will be some time coming.   I'm going to send my son this article...if I'm to be accused of being a MIL then I guess I'll act like one... ;D

Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: Prissy on August 22, 2009, 11:33:48 am
Oh, I misunderstood again...good that you can talk to him. 
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: luise.volta on August 22, 2009, 12:49:14 pm
Feels like terminal eggshell-itis to me.  :(
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: AnnieB on August 25, 2009, 05:50:03 am
I will add that I was not thrilled to find out they are taking my 3 yr. old grandson (OK, their son) to Turkey this week and leaving him there until October.    .  My son says it's just for a break and I know how that goes.  Seems a long time and of course, my now paranoid mind turns to dark thoughts..... I watch too many Unsolved Mysteries...
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: luise.volta on August 25, 2009, 03:50:47 pm
I know this sounds old-fashioned...but my take on it is that no 3 year old should be away from his/her parents for a month. And what little I know about Turkey scares me silly. Not a very supportive response but an honest one.
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: just2baccepted on August 25, 2009, 04:23:52 pm
I work with a lady who travels a lot with her hubby.  He's a professor I believe.  She told me that they went to Turkey several years ago.  I had the same reaction, "don't they all wanna kill us?"  She said the people were so nice and were excited that they were Americans and the  Turkish people wanted to talk her and her husband and find out about life in America.  I'm sure though there are people  who are America haters over  there though.
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: AnnieB on August 25, 2009, 08:32:25 pm
  My grandson will be safe, it's my son I worry about.  But I think my mind is just too much into the drama...
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: just2baccepted on August 26, 2009, 08:14:19 am
AnnieB - I'm so sorry, I didn't realize your dil was Turkish and they would be visiting family etc.  I do understand that would be uncomfortable for me as well.  If you are religious I think I would just leave it in God's hands.  I'm sure you'll be able to relax again when they come home.  Has your son ever traveled to Turkey before to see the family?
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: luise.volta on August 26, 2009, 09:08:30 am
Where I got stuck was"...where they are leaving him..."
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: luise.volta on August 27, 2009, 08:28:07 pm
I am still unclear abut where she is leaving him for six weeks and why.
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: Sassy on August 27, 2009, 11:57:09 pm
Dear AnnieB,
You gave me such helpful advice on my thread. Thank you.  I have looked at yours.  The efforts you are making with your DIL reveal the love in your heart.

Based on the way you were raised, DIL not wanting to talk to you about this argument feels like punishment to you, being denied due process and the right to defend yourself.  That's understandable.  However, I don't think you have any idea what you are defending yourself against.  And the kicker is: I don't think your DIL knows either!! 

Would you feel better if I told you her silence on this matter doesn't seem to be about you at all?

Your original story, from the link you provided, says this:

Quote I commented the things I'd been thinking and said I had wondered if she was unhappy, and had thought about talking to her.  He said, no don't, I will.... he immediately talked to her.  He doesn't yell.  But evidently he mixed his own thoughts with mine. She's been furious at me since.


"He mixed his own thoughts with mine."  Translation: Your son lied to his wife about you.  He lied about what you said and what you thought.  You haven't described any mental or processing defects in your son.  So let's face it. "Mixed" = Lied.

Husbands telling big fat lies make problems with their wives.  Never fails.  And of course, anyone telling big fat lies about you, to someone you want an authentic and trusting relationship with, is going to make problems for you.  They are going to damage that relationship for you with those lies.  You are caught up in their problems - and yet you don't even know what half of them are.

You are aware of some the lies he told her about you.  What she told you that he said you said to him, about the flat tire, and assigning to you specific derogatory terms about her that you'd simply never used.  Lies are like termites, when you spot one, it is just a sign there are more crawling around you can't see. Underneath everything.  Rotting away the foundation.

Your son may have continued to tell more lies to cover up or assuage the lies he told that night.  You will never know.  But he is not the man you sleep next to at night.  He is not the man you have to raise a child with.

All DIL knows is what her husband "mixed" and told her to be true about you.  And then whatever he told her afterwards.  And the fights.

Perhaps your son has lied to his wife before, about other things.  He may "not yell" like she does, but he gets his anger out in his own more subtle ways, doesn't he.  Even his assigning to you his feelings and words, was like one more betrayal.  "See, even my mother thinks you're self-centered and immature"  Double betrayal.  Your concern for her, just became your harsh maligning judgment with a bow on top.  Packaged and Delivered courtesy of sonny-boy express.

This one night at the funeral was not their first time at the rodeo.  Perhaps this lying is the source of her anger towards him. The anger that concerned you so much you brought her anger to your son's attention.  Anger, like she felt about the flat tire.  You like this woman, right?  You want to be close to her because you like or love her.  She must have values and good qualities, the things you want to be close to someone for.  If she were not decent, in your eyes, I am assuming you would not crave such a "deep" bond with her.

Now - why would a decent woman get so mad about a flat tire, something that a rational and decent person simply knows couldn't be helped.  Maybe because the "shopping trip" that never happened, just became one more lie to her.  Perhaps she had time to calculate there was probably never time for her shopping trip.  Just one more lie.  The anger borne of being married to a husband who "mixes" other people's words with his own thoughts, could also explain her other "random" (to you) insults to him for the last 18 months.

You don't know why she doesn't want to talk about it.  You will never know what else your son told her that night.   You will never know what else he told her abut you, before or since.  And none of us never, ever know what goes on in someone else's marriage behind closed doors. 
You do know they had huge rows about this.  have you considered the reason she doesn't want to discuss "it" anymore is because she doesn't want more rows with her husband about this. 

You researched Turkish MILs.  Did you research Turkish men?  I don't believe your son is Turkish?  But your DIL's father was, and all the men in her family she knows, and many of the people she grew up with. Did you know: Turkish men are widely thought to be hands down the most UNFAITHFUL men in the world.  Even a international condom company reported this as a "#1" status in a published worldwide study. Can we conclude that unfaithful Turkish men lie to women?  Just to illustrate DIL's context.

You think its all about you.  I think its about a woman raised not to blindly trust men, especially men who lie. And she'll welcome you into her home because she DOES care for you.  I'd take her statements at face value, Annie. Instead of reading a rejection of you "into" her needs.  She made clear - doesn't care to discuss how her "unhappiness with her husband is showing," or to have you discuss her glaring unhappiness with her husband or herself, or to rehash that night's row yet again, then sleep next to your son.

Arguing with a MIL isn't all bad.  Arguing with your husband about last week's stinky fish sure is.

Just my two cents.  I hope this can give you some perspective you can use.
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: just2baccepted on August 28, 2009, 08:21:04 am
Sassy made some interesting points.  I wondered the same thing.  Its hard enough to blend a family but when you have different cultures it can be even harder.  DIL's thinking may be totally different than us good old American DIL's.  her life experiences are different.  Of course I don't know was she brought up in America or does she have strong ties to the Turkish culture? 
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: luise.volta on August 28, 2009, 09:26:07 am
To me, "He mixed his own thoughts with mine" means that a broader perspective than his own was presented.

nterpretation can a "sticky-wicket."

And what a glorious discussion about tolerance. You guys are awesome!
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: Sassy on August 28, 2009, 09:35:18 am
Luise I read "But evidently he mixed his own thoughts with mine" like that that as I read it, too. It was the words that followed that sentence, that had me go back and re-read for clarity.

Quote[She said she didn't want to talk though I did say I hadn't said the things she accused me of saying (he had said she was being self centered and immature about the flat tire..I had not commented at all on that, nor had I used either of those terms).   
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: AnnieB on August 29, 2009, 05:27:21 am
Certainly food for thought, and thanks for giving a DIL's possible perspective (and some good points)!

Just a note  :)    All Turkish men aren't unfaithful, her father and brothers are quite decent fellows. 

I don't want to go into analyzing what may have caused her unhappiness except to say it doesn't have to be something anyone has done that makes someone unhappy in a marriage.  I've been married more than once, believe me -- I know.

The only bright side to this is, I've learned a lot about being a MIL and what not to do - it is more complicated than I ever thought, but then aren't we all! 

:)
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: luise.volta on August 29, 2009, 02:21:17 pm
And it can be easy...like falling off a log. It can be wonderful and really simple. Rewarding.
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: SunnyDays09 on August 29, 2009, 05:35:07 pm
Quote from: luise.volta on August 29, 2009, 02:21:17 pm
And it can be easy...like falling off a log. It can be wonderful and really simple. Rewarding.

  Or more like falling into a log CHIPPER.  Then you're nothing but a big mess.

  ROFL  Sorry.  That's just how I see it!!  I'm so bitter. 
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: Prissy on August 29, 2009, 05:48:11 pm
I know....it's somewhere between deep sorrow and hysteria. It's awful.
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: luise.volta on August 29, 2009, 06:21:01 pm
Well, I have had four really great DILS. (Yes, I know...two sons and six DILs...don't get me started.) That's four to two in favor of the sweeties.  ;D ;D ;D ;D

Two of the four are "exes" and still very close friends. They both come to all of our family "dos" with their new spouses. Well, my own ex is there, too, with his wife...

Maybe I'd better quit wile I'm winning...
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: Prissy on August 29, 2009, 06:25:25 pm
fffffffffffffffffffffffour???? ??? Kill me...kill me now.
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: SunnyDays09 on August 30, 2009, 08:12:56 am
QuoteI imagine my relationships with my DIL's as kind of a sorority. I imagine it would be a kind of a bonding process due to the understanding boys will be boys and men will be men.  A DIL's Mother can't know the insight you might have with her Husband nor help her like you could as a MIL.


   I had thought about this!  DIL and I did share being the "new kid on the block" as far as being dils go.  Women are the more nurturing, intuitive types and I thought we shared that.  I would tease about "well, don't expect HIM to ever shovel the snow"  It was a true statement.  Half joking.  Even tried at times to speak to her about issues son/mother/family had in the past that were still being dealt with by him and she ran downstairs, tells son we were talking about him and he would come up the stairs swinging.  It was bad.  Then she took off out the back door into her car and left??!! 
  I was to explain to him it wasn't like what ever she may have said it was.  Why was there all this bad attitude and nastiness coming from? The ANGER? That was the first - AND LAST - time he yelled at me in my home.  The home that was the safe, protection spot for most of his life.  He never apologized and I feel that was the beginning of the end to my ever trusting his gf/fiance again.  (As a woman, a dil, or the mom of his s/o).
She had an ulterior motive to start the disintegration process between him and his family.  And me foolishly trusting her enough to have a heart to heart--invited it in. 
   I loved him so much.  I think the last 13 years could testify to that.  We stood by him during so much turbulence and pain and anguish he caused to his family.  I never abandoned him.  Never turned him away.  It wasn't easy. 
   He was an alcoholic at 17.  School suffered.  Part time jobs suffered.  Coming home and parking the car up on the lawn!  Watching him come out of the bathroom at 3 am and not being able to find his way to his room. 
   The son he had with a "friend" I never was the given an opportunity to be with.  On and on.  Never gave up.  Love will win, I told myself.  Keep firm and steady.  Guide him to the right path.  It took her 35 minutes to have his life and those people that stood by him thru the Good and THE REALLY BAD removed from his heart. 
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: AnnieB on August 31, 2009, 10:42:56 am
All good points, I think you're right on on everything you pointed out.   Some of that I am aware of and have been for some time.  Some I'm figuring out as part of the process of working through all of this as I write this out, some of it is yet to be digested.   The people pleasing aspect of myself has been with me and worked on for centuries (um, well, decades) and ironically, I wrote a bit on my blog and posted it elsewhere in here yesterday I think - so spot on....

****
A little more commentary-- I know I use this board and my own blog as a journal -- so a lot of what I write is my immediate reaction to things.  Part of the processing what I go through, and I know in sharing it, I reveal myself at my rawest and open myself up to feedback.  I am grateful for insights.   Comments from others are true gifts, because I don't have enough of a mirror in my life -- one or two excellent friends who also give me feedback.  Thankful as I am for feedback, I do want to put out some kind of a caution, but I'm not even sure what I'm cautioning!  :)

Whatever I'm going through in all of this with my DIL is as much of a reflection on me as on anyone else -- and as you so aptly point out, the only one we can change is ourselves.   

I just don't want to open myself up to being analyzed by others -- maybe I need to stop posting my immediate reactions and wait til I've worked through it, but it's kind of a catch 22 -- as I write it out, I begin to work through it and figure things out.  It's all so fluid, that what I feel and so post or say one day is not what I feel and so post another.  (which is more clearly reflected in my blogging than in here).

But you are really right on with your insights!   I appreciate them, and any of the ones that made me wince will be given extra attention!!  ;D

Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: Alicev on August 31, 2009, 12:51:01 pm
AnnieB -

:) I did not mean to come off as lecturing. (Lecturing is the first sign of aging - my mum used to say  ;D ). It is just that asking questions has helped me a lot with dealing with my own issues. That is why I asked some of the "uncomfortable" questions. Advice is the last thing I want to give. But questions like: "what does it mean to me when someone does this or that" help me discover my own beliefs and value systems. Some of which can be so distorted from reality and in fact do not serve me any good. So I think it is important to ask questions. Rather than asking "Why does some thing happen?", ask "How does a certain thing come about?" - the how part helps to identify the influence, the trigger, the chain of events so to speak. it rarely is one single thing. It often is the complex interplay.

Please do not feel discouraged from writing here as a blog. Of all the places this is where you should be able to do it. React here :D :D
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: luise.volta on August 31, 2009, 01:06:12 pm
I like this one: "What you think of me is none of my business!"  ;D
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: Alicev on August 31, 2009, 01:11:45 pm
Luise -

That's a good one!!  :)
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: Alicev on August 31, 2009, 02:07:51 pm
I read it from somewhere - "If three people call you a horse, buy a saddle" :D

The message for me was that if I hear from more than one source that I come across this way or that way, I need to take a serious look at myself. One of my weak spots has been and continues to be, the incessant complaining part. I can go on about saying what is wrong without noticing what is right. Habits take conscious effort to change. And through practicing new behaviours I can turn those into habits. I remember reading the following quote and it struck me like a lightning.

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

Just felt like sharing.
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: AnnieB on August 31, 2009, 02:10:17 pm
Yep, I think Alice has got it... for me, the "wince" comment is simply something I've learned about myself...

When someone says something and I either go into "wince" or "denial" mode, that's usually because there's something in there I need to hear.   

Most if not all of the time, the person saying it doesn't intend to cause me to wince or deny, they just happened to hit close to the mark!

I now consider it a helpful reminder to myself to listen up!

:)

Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: Alicev on August 31, 2009, 02:15:52 pm
Yup! I agree AnnieB - I am the same way. If something stings in me - I realise, hey how come? And it tells me something new about myself. I have learned to appreciate when people mirror back to be the parts about myself that I would not so much like to face myself. But I know I have to. I have come to accept those parts as well. Because that way I can do something about it.
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: Prissy on August 31, 2009, 03:27:09 pm
All of you have come so far that it's hard for me to keep up with all the learning of new things.

I'm overwhelmed....it's like a college class with new ideas and tests to take.  I never expected so much when I first listed my steps a DIL will take to ruin your life!

This is the first and only place where both sides can hear, learn and accept each other.....wow! 
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: Sassy on September 01, 2009, 06:02:39 pm

Quote
Quote: As to coming to visit some time, I am welcome as long as I don't talk about it.

You want life to happen on your terms. If it doesn't you choose not to participate? Just because she doesn't want to talk about the issue (probably not wanting to have another argument, not really wanting to get hurt) doesn't not mean you are not welcome.


Quote: She won't acknowledge the apology letter I sent.

As you said previously yourself, she needs more time, she is not ready to talk about it. This does not mean she will not ever acknowledge the letter.  Whatever the case now, that is her choice. That is her decision. You have done your part. The rest has to be let go.


Quote: The message I am getting from her (which may not be the message she means to send) is that she does not wish to have a relationship with me of any depth.

I like the part "which may not be the message she means to send" because it shows your skills of analysis and open mindedness.
Let's assume she doesn't, what then? I understand that you have an idea what the relationship between the two of you could be like. What if your idea doesn't match her idea of the relationship? This can well happen, since people's ideas about intangible notions like "respect", "love", "being nice", "coldness", "friendship", etc. differs a great deal. What the phrase "relationship of depth" means to you, might be entirely different from how she understands it.

Quote: The real issue, to me, is that I feel as though my DIL doesn't care enough about me to talk to me about this.

It hurts. Caring and love is all people really want. And too often we experience ignorance. This sentence carries a lot of sadness for me. Here's a big hug for you!


AliceV... this is what I would say to AnnieB, if I had your gift of language.  Well-put and what I hope our dear Annie B reflects on most. 

AnnieB - you deserve to savor all that love your son, DIL and grandchild offer to you.  I hope you see the bounty before you, that awaits you, and seize it and make it yours.
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: AnnieB on September 01, 2009, 06:08:09 pm
Sassy.... I think you aren't reading my posts or understanding me very well.  I do appreciate your concern but... please ... you are misunderstanding me completely.  There's a dialog going on, please more closely read my responses and the exchange between several people, including myself.  :)   
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: Sassy on September 01, 2009, 06:39:14 pm
Annie, I assure you I did read your posts, the dialogue and also clicked through on the link to your blog.  (I write grandson instead of granddaughter sometimes, my apologies!)

Maybe I do not understand what you mean.  I honestly do not mean to upset you with my interpretation.  I want to show you what I think might be there for you.  I think this can make you happy?   I think I see a DIL who had a fight with you after the funeral, based on what you may or may not have said about how her anger shows, and compounded by what her husband may or may not have told her you said, and it became a terrible row with her husband, and you.  I see a DIL who wants to cool down with a little space, and drop the hot potato. 

And I did read what you wrote about the apology you wrote in response to her silence.  And what her further silence might say to you.  To you this is like being sent to your room without a say.  And the further discussions, which you do understand will be heated, you need to resolve the misunderstanding, to clear your name.  But I think she wants to move past that night's fight, to another day.  And I think she senses (not incorrectly)  you do not want the same.

The open invite, as long as you do not bring up this sensitive subject, I see as a "pardon" and yet that despite the pardon, you still want to defend your case.  Being denied the right to defend yourself, is worse than being sentenced, in a sense. Or in sales, we call it "selling past the close."  This is probably the part where you think I misunderstand you the most?

If you prefer I not add my thoughts to your story, I will not.  I read many stories here, and yours seems to me to be the one that has the most hope and the the most love to be salvaged!!  I am sorry you are worried for your son's marriage to her, but I don't think you can "save" someone else's marital relationship no matter what words you say, it is up to them.... and they still want you to come see them in your home.  That to me, is an opportunity!  You may not always have that window open, but you do now. 

Of course, I bring my own baggage. I am a woman who loves my MIL.  I respect her, and I miss her. My MIL wants engagements with me (much different than yours, however) and her son (unlike you) that we can't give her.  And if she could just BE with us, then we would love to be with her.  And it breaks my heart, and my fiance's heart, AnnieB.  So that is my perspective.

I wish you love with your family.
Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: AnnieB on September 01, 2009, 07:03:04 pm
The other post I did says more -- I think you are misinterpreting some of what I say, though I do think you are right that I need to give it a rest.

However, I am giving it a rest with her.  This is where I come to talk about how I feel about giving it a rest.   I don't need my posts to be analyzed, really.  I'm ranting, processing, grieving, etc.

Neither you nor I needs to figure out why she said what she said.  Neither you nor I needs to figure out if my son deserved the treatment he got (though of course, as his mother, I will hold my own judgment :) )     

I really think it is better to give advice when asked for it on fresher posts (and I don't think I asked for advice).  This is Rule #1 for MIL's -- don't give advice you aren't asked for!!   ;D

And to spend time here supporting others and, if needed, seeking insight about our own problems.

But again, I do think you are right that I need to give her and the whole issue time.  (and actually,

But FYI, it isn't my wish to talk to her about the original issues, I don't want to talk about why she did this, etc.  I am SO not wanting to discuss any of that. 

The talk I want with her is about our relationship, broader topics such as how I should have talked to her first if I had doubts, how we can heal our relationship, letting her know she can be mad at me and say things to me and it won't ruin our relationshiop, etc. etc. etc. -- I surely don't want to get into all the junk that started this, because the other thing I learned the HARD way is that that was really none of my business! <--- she says, choking on the words, and I won't mind letting her know that (because someday she is gonna be a MIL of her son's wife, too).

Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: AnnieB on September 01, 2009, 07:39:17 pm
Unfortunately, I need to let people know without being harsh or mean when they are doing something that doesn't work for me.   I think that should be OK.  I don't think I passed any judgment on anyone, if I did, I apologize -- what I'm trying to do is say what works for me and what doesn't.

I can ask someone not to do something.  That doesn't mean they have to listen to me!  But to be uncomfortable with what someone is doing and not ask them to stop and tell them why doesn't work for me anymore.

Title: Re: Grrrrr and OUCHHHH
Post by: SunnyDays09 on September 01, 2009, 07:46:05 pm
QuoteBut to be uncomfortable with what someone is doing and not ask them to stop and tell them why doesn't work for me anymore.


This!!!  This!! Yes.  Yes.  (nodding head really fast)   
  I should have told them to just STOP.  Long ago.
Since there was NONE from me, it kept coming. 
Worse then the one before!   
  I would like to use this as my siggie.  Thank you AnnieB.  This to me, says I am in charge of me.  And I will not allow you to do something that will hurt me.  Either with words or actions.  Intentionally or otherwise.  For you can't hurt me if I don't let you!!