Author Topic: How it starts...  (Read 4874 times)

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cremebrulee

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How it starts...
« on: October 25, 2010, 05:31:37 AM »

When my son and DIL married, I was ecstatic and couldn't wait to have a Daughter to love…honestly took it for granted that she would immediately fit right into our family.  I was very close to my son and expected her to be close to me to..why?  Because he chose her, she must have been wonderful, b/c my son was and I thought his choice would instantly grant us immunity. 

As a MIL, mother, wife, I had been so used to calling all the shots, being in total control of situations…learning so much during the 30 years of growing up with my son.  Being a mother for so long, I forgot about people skills, self awareness and self discipline….I had been so used to making all the decisions and being in control…as well as having a son whom I literally grew up with and was very close to…he was the light of my life…and still is but in a much different way. 

When something happens, I become very angry with the situation, and am a shouter…however when things happened with my DIL, as hurt and mad as I was at the situation, and thought I was to old to do anything wrong.  Years of experience, had given me a confidence.  I was so unable to put myself in her shoes…

Had no idea how frightening and overwhelming it must have been for her, entering into several new families….it wasn't just mine, but his father's, his stepmother, step parents and step sister and brothers, plus they're wives/husbands…

I couldn't wait to love her…expected her to accept me immediately…she was shy, and standoffish…and probably very afraid…wanted me to like her…my son probably told her that I would love her….I assumed she'd see me as a sort of surrogate mother, mentor and would love me instantly…I had this fantasy for many years, even before my son met her, that she would be the daughter I never had and couldn't wait….and now believe most of our problems were unspoken but conflicting expectations and assumptions.

I think a lot of daughter-in-law's assume that no matter how modern their mother-in-law's are, they are being judged based on the standards of traditional housewives, the ability to keep a clean and cook. 

I think mother-in-laws often interpret the decisions of their daughter-in-laws to perform differently, as a rejection of their own choices.

It's the disappointment felt by both women that "gives these relationships their distinctive negative outlook,"  Add to that a mother's conflicted feelings of pride and loss as a son marries; a wife's insecurity that she's adequately balancing work and home responsibilities, and the tendency of most women to be more sensitive to slights and criticisms than men, and you have the formula for years of trouble.   In some respects,  jockeying for position which translates a downward spiral from there…
Each is the primary woman in her own primary family. Each tries to establish & protect her status, each feels threatened by the other and you have two women fighting over one man.
 
Mil's have to let they're son's go, and realize, it's a natural human instinct for the son to leave the nest and start his own family, which may no longer include the many traditions which took MIL years to establish…now DIL wants to start her own traditions, or carry on the traditions of her family.
Being a MIL is tough…painful…and represents loss in some cases…and if the MIL cannot perceive that before her son is married, and accept change, it will be a very significant blow to all she has known for years…which she is interpreting as DIL, trying to drive a wedge between son and herself.  It starts off very innocently and builds into a vital war of life and death. 

I found in reading forums, most MIL's who are having problems with DIL, were in that same mind set as I was…and didn't realize such drastic changes would not only take effect, but are essential and normal for a new couple.  Right away, MIL starts calling all the time, stop by way to much and asks for many dinner arrangements…when her invites are cast off, she views it as a personal rejection failing to perceive that her son and his new wife, need privacy to set up a new household, which in itself can be very trying.  Plus they both have full time jobs, and are busy, busy, busy. 

MIL's interrupt her visits to her parents as even more of a rejection…and quickly become hurt, green-eyed, defensive and the war begins. MIL's refuse to acknowledge or even think about the fact that DIL is comfortable with her own parents…and wants to be there…son, is willing to do anything to make his wife happy, as his wife's happiness, interprets success to him, plus if she is happy, he is happy.  So, he chooses to go where his wife wants to go, and forgets to remind her, that he has family to, that he needs to see…and therein lies the problems that begin a long and agonizing conflict between two families.  MIL, deems it as a seemingly deranged scheme to divide her family…DIL, sees it as the MIL, disapproving her, and also as a deranged scheme to divide her brand new family, jealousy on both they're parts, and a fight until the end, for the loyalty from son/husband. 

If MIL is speaking to son about the problem, and son defends his wife, which he will of course do, MIL views this as a disloyalty, or that she is making up stories…and if DIL is speaking to husband about her MIL, she also misjudges his actions as a disloyalty to her, when all he is so desperately trying to do, is make them both see, that they're expectations were not lived up to, and both these women are not some alien from another world.  It puts him completely in the middle, and it becomes so devastating to him, b/c he can't fix it…and he so wants both they're approvals for wife/mother…for them to just get along.

Then the children come…Oh my?  This is another story…same story but magnified, and MIL's takes initiative, due to enthusiasum and a desire to be part of her son's family, to once again, overly project her skills, knowledge and nuturing, not realizing that things have drastically changed since she had a child...

Dil wants to only have her mother there, constantly and gain knowledge from her..once again, MIL, takes this as a rejection of not only her, but her skills, beliefs and personal instutions...and she thinks DIL doesn't trust her, dislikes her, or is trying to keep her from her grand child.  Some MIL's are so hurt b/c her mother is there first...and more then she is, and refuse to understand, that maybe it's b/c DIL feels comfortable with her mother...so, MIL, pushes out of hurt and wanting to be just as much a part of her GC's life as DIL's mother.  If MIL's could only stand back and wait, give them time, but we're impatient...stubborn and now fighting for our right as a Grandparent and feels that DIL doesn't trust her or let alone like her and often times that isn't the case. 


« Last Edit: October 25, 2010, 05:42:04 AM by cremebrulee »

Offline Pen

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Re: How it starts...
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2010, 07:40:57 AM »
Creme, that may be how it started for you and for many here. That's not what happened in my situation. I'm glad you've found a path that brings you peace; unfortunately we're not all dealing with the same exact dynamics and issues. Best wishes :)
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

cremebrulee

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Re: How it starts...
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2010, 07:48:29 AM »
Creme, that may be how it started for you and for many here. That's not what happened in my situation. I'm glad you've found a path that brings you peace; unfortunately we're not all dealing with the same exact dynamics and issues. Best wishes :)

I realize that Pen....and everytime I post something like this, I know someone is going to come in and say exactly what you said...and your right, you couldn't be more right....

however, just once, just once Pen, I really pray, that you and some of the others here wouldn't take the defense when you read my posts, I'm venting, not talking to you personally...it's like you don't like it cause I'm trying to show you some positive aspects of the dynamics of relationships....I realize there are some situations that don't apply?

however, there are things in my post that we can all learn from....
even if it doesnt' apply to our DIL's or MIL's....

Pen, I was simply trying to share some perspectives, from a positive view point, from a generic viewpoint....take what works for you and leave the rest.....


Offline pam1

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Re: How it starts...
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2010, 07:53:48 AM »
Creme, I think you make a lot of good points.  And no, it doesn't fit everyone here but it gives me food for thought.  When you were describing the DIL and her mother dynamic it got me thinking of another way to explain to DH to help better set our boundaries.  In our case, MIL wants, wants and wants things I wouldn't even be comfortable with my own parents doing.  It's not a tug of war here between my parents and his parents, which I think MIL keeps wanting to make a factor and vents to DH about, my parents never even picked up the rope lol!  And in any case, it simply doesn't matter what my parents do or not do. 
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

cremebrulee

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Re: How it starts...
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2010, 08:10:23 AM »
Creme, I think you make a lot of good points.  And no, it doesn't fit everyone here but it gives me food for thought.  When you were describing the DIL and her mother dynamic it got me thinking of another way to explain to DH to help better set our boundaries.  In our case, MIL wants, wants and wants things I wouldn't even be comfortable with my own parents doing.  It's not a tug of war here between my parents and his parents, which I think MIL keeps wanting to make a factor and vents to DH about, my parents never even picked up the rope lol!  And in any case, it simply doesn't matter what my parents do or not do.

Hi Pam,
Thanks so much
hope it does help....

Offline Pen

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Re: How it starts...
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2010, 08:14:49 AM »
Creme, I'm sorry I commented after your post. It wasn't out of defensiveness but for clarity that I said anything at all. You're right, sometimes you just need to write out your feelings without getting a comment from someone. In the future I'll try to be more aware of which posts are which.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

miss_priss

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Re: How it starts...
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2010, 08:28:12 AM »
Creme your posts are so enlightening.  It's refreshing to hear a MIL take evaluation of dynamics and genuinely try to understand where our relationships go wrong.  I think you're a good one. 

This post really circles back to the previous posts on entitlement and expectations from MILs and DILs alike.   

Offline luise.volta

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Re: How it starts...
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2010, 08:51:45 AM »
I think we can all learn from the learnings of others. No path is identical with another but there are usually similarities. There is a lot of soul-searching in that post and a there are lot of "ah-has." Mine were different but I can relate. Each one of us who opens up here takes the chance of being misunderstood. Some never open up for that reason.

If we stay we find that being different isn't necessarily being wrong. This isn't a you or me site, it's you and me.

My first DIL thought I was the greatest thing since sliced bread. That gave me a false premise that came back to haunt me as time went by. Now, decades later, my surviving son and his lady are very dear friends. I am sometimes the mom to be revered and I am sometimes the mom in her mid-80s who needs a helping hand. They live their own lives and so do I, but we would be there in a New York Second, if a distress call came.

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

MLW07

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Re: How it starts...
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2010, 09:53:57 AM »
Great post Creme!

Offline Pooh

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Re: How it starts...
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2010, 10:27:48 AM »
Good post Creme.  I really liked the part about DIL being confortable with her family, thus more visits.  I also think my DIL is afraid of disappointing her Mother because her Mother is very demanding and would gripe at her about it.  So DIL goes along with whatever her Mother wants. And then DS goes along so he doesn't get griped at.  What was that old saying, "The squeaky wheel gets the most oil."  Or something like that.

 

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

cremebrulee

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Re: How it starts...
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2010, 03:55:29 AM »
I wanted to apologize publically to Pen and others here...and say I'm so sorry for the outburst yesterday...I just get so frustrated, as everyone else, and feel when I sometimes post, there are people here who feel like I'm talking to them directly and are hurt by those posts and feel like they must defend they're feelings due to my posts. 

Anything I write here is certainly up for discussion be it you agree or not....that's how we learn, and I learn....I feel badly, because I know people are hurting, disappointed and suffering due to they're problems...and, as everyone else, when some come in and post, that my post doesn't have anything to do with what they're going thru...it makes me feel like they feel I'm directly speaking to them and insulting them, b/c it isn't what they are going thru...I was wrong...and I'm very sorry for offending anyone or hurting anyone...I love philosophy....poetry and am a fixer....always analyzing situations in hopes of helping others...and I get reallly frustrated when some people feel badly b/c of my posts...and think and I was apparently wrong for thinking this, but felt that Pen and others here feel like they must defend they're actions, feelings and beliefs, due to my posts....they are always open for discussion be it you agree or don't agree...I'm very sorry.  My reply to Pen wasn't one of yelling at her, it was more frustration and hurt, b/c I feared someone is going to take my post as if I'm saying my experience has to be everyone elses and I'm insulting someone or hurting they're feelings...that isn't my intent.

Please know, and understand, a lot of times, when I'm posting, I'm talking to myself, verifying my own actions and how things happened....reinstating my own beliefs, and trying to recondition my way of thinking....just writing throughts down, and if you disagree, that's ok...I just don't want anyone to feel like they need to defend they're postions b/c of my posts...and if anyone does, then I honestly aplogize..however, I understand now, that I was totally off base. 

Sorry
Creme

« Last Edit: October 26, 2010, 04:07:21 AM by cremebrulee »

Offline tryingmybest

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Re: How it starts...
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2010, 05:17:44 AM »
 :) Good morning all. Creme I think your post was perfect! I think we are all feeling our way, venting our own experiences and trying to map out a way to deal with all of this. For me I know my anger was a big factor :o
I sat down yesterday and wrote 5 pages on my blog www.stuckintheprincesspit.blogspot.com about my anger, it's a big issue for me, might not be for everyone.
Please keep posting, I'm learning so much from you and I think we can all learn from each other's experiences!!

cremebrulee

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Re: How it starts...
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2010, 05:50:56 AM »
Good Morning
thank you for the encouragement....and I loved reading your blog...thank you for sharing...
I found it so brutally honest and true...in a comical way...however, not so comical when your living it....there was also a lot of food for thought in it....self examination is good....

I'm wondering...what is the anger from?  Is it all due to son's wife, or is it much more, because you seem to have a great grasp on what is going on and how things should be....

you write very well....


Offline tryingmybest

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Re: How it starts...
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2010, 06:12:29 AM »
 ;)Thank you and God help me if my family ever finds it, I am toast. I think and this was hard, that my anger was really sparked by my son. I'm in my late 50's and looking back at 28 years of spending all my time living my life for him, and he seems to have forgotten all about it! I didn't expect my DIL to love me right out of the bat, but I never expected my son to stop.   :'(
I know he hasn't but his actions are making me feel that way, that's the hard part for me.

cremebrulee

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Re: How it starts...
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2010, 06:29:42 AM »
;)Thank you and God help me if my family ever finds it, I am toast. I think and this was hard, that my anger was really sparked by my son. I'm in my late 50's and looking back at 28 years of spending all my time living my life for him, and he seems to have forgotten all about it! I didn't expect my DIL to love me right out of the bat, but I never expected my son to stop.   :'(
I know he hasn't but his actions are making me feel that way, that's the hard part for me.

I now know the hardest part of being a mother, is letting them go....and wonder sometimes, does it have to do with my son being my only child?  Is it b/c I just loved him to much, or because he was the light of my life, or all 3 and more?  Yes, we do go thru that period of time, when our lives are extremely dedicated to our children, and believe to, we become as dependent on them as they do on us?  Just thoughts, I don't know, really, just contemplations, however, we don't react and feel for one reason, but many...and I believe your son isn't trying to make you feel that way, it's simply a transition we all go thru...

Perhaps my girlfriend who really has great realationships with her DIL's didn't go thru this, b/c she had 5 children?  I don't know, perhaps she was more mature then I was, and much further along intellectually then I was?  I don't know, but what I do know is, that our son's actions are not meant to hurt us....he's just trying to adjust the best way he knows how to his new life...it isn't as hard on them, b/c your right, he has another woman to go to....to take care of him, and to even make his life more rewarding....it is a must....and very essential part of life....you did it, he's doing it...however, when we did it, did our parents take it so hard and just kept things to themselves?  I think they did....b/c I know they were not fond of my husband....
nor what he allowed my son's step mother to do to all of us....especially my son....however, that to was part of life, and I do believe in destiny...was it right for my son to suffer the indignity of being slapped across the face and degraded verbally?  No, but as in all things in life, I do believe it is what made him who he is today, a very strong willed, and laid back person....wish I could be more like him....I'm very proud of him....not b/c I raised him but because of who he is....oh, yes, he does make mistakes, he is not perfect, but he is extremely gifted in awareness, writes very well, has a very unique ability with people, guess that is why he's a cop? 

Anyway, anger is something I believe we all have to conquer, in different layers....and understanding why we're angry is the first part of managing it....but I believe that showed all throughout your blog....