Author Topic: Sit on my hands or try again to fix it?  (Read 4780 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

seasage

  • Guest
Sit on my hands or try again to fix it?
« on: January 26, 2011, 08:40:11 AM »
I woke up this morning at 5AM, determined to do something to fix my MIL/DIL relationship, determined to try once again.  I lost the first post - POOF into the cosmos - so let me try again.  This will be a much shorter version.

About a year ago, in order to please DS, I started a campaign to heal my DIL's hard heart.  For 8 months I sent flowers, cards, a couple of short email messages, gifts, etc.  In return I got absolutely nothing, nada, nichevo.  You wise women here at WWU told me that my DIL was saying STOP in no uncertain terms.  I stopped.

I need new advice, maybe just advice to go back to bed or stay my hand.  I am contemplating (1) calling her and asking what I can do to repair our relationship, or (2) calling her mother and asking the same question.

[Full disclosure:  DH and I have a good relationship with DS, even though we only see him for 2-3 days per year, when he comes home on his own.  DIL won't come here.  DH and I are not welcome at DIL's house.]

Is this fixable?  Do I need to wait for a move by DIL?  Advice? 
« Last Edit: February 03, 2011, 12:48:25 PM by seasage »

Offline Pen

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4400
    • View Profile
Re: Sit on my hands or try again to fix it?
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2011, 08:47:20 AM »
Seasage, I have no advice. The only thing that changed my situation with DIL was, as you know, DS stepping up. Things are better now (DIL actually spent the night here although she complained about the bed, etc.), but we've yet to be invited to their home and we still get the crumbs while her FOO sees them daily and gets first pick for all celebrations, birthdays, holidays, etc.

I'm curious to see what the others say. I'm thinking of you {{{hugs}}}
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

LaurieS

  • Guest
Re: Sit on my hands or try again to fix it?
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2011, 08:58:13 AM »
I'd like to know more about  your sons role in this relationship.  Where does he stand or is he contently fence sitting?  I'd leave her mother out of the equation, because most likely she feels that her daughter is justified in all she does.  Mom may be a victim of the PB's (parental blindness) and of course anything you say will go right back to the daughter.. I think this is considered bonding to some parents. Nope if you decided to take on your beast of burden.. I'd do it directly, but first I'd take off any blinders and see what your own son is doing to contribute to this problem.

seasage

  • Guest
Re: Sit on my hands or try again to fix it?
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2011, 09:43:55 AM »
I'd like to know more about  your sons role in this relationship.  Where does he stand or is he contently fence sitting?  I'd leave her mother out of the equation, because most likely she feels that her daughter is justified in all she does.  Mom may be a victim of the PB's (parental blindness) and of course anything you say will go right back to the daughter.. I think this is considered bonding to some parents. Nope if you decided to take on your beast of burden.. I'd do it directly, but first I'd take off any blinders and see what your own son is doing to contribute to this problem.

Good question, Laurie.  I used to think that he was an innocent victim in all this because he would cry whenever there was a meeting between us and DIL.  The visits never went well.  They always ended up with DS stressed, in tears, and me also in tears. 

But I remember that when he visited us for 2 days last fall - after I became a member of WWU - after I started to get myself together - I started to see his complicity.  He was explaining to us that DIL didn't like to visit our house because it has a open plan, and you can see the bedroom doors from the front (cathedral ceiling) entrance.  He told us she was a very private person, and that was why she didn't like to come here.  We immediately offered to put them up in a local hotel the next time the two of them came.  BUT - after DS left, I said to DH that something smelled fishy.  I didn't believe that the complaints about privacy came from DIL, but that they were an excuse offered by DS to explain her bad behavior.   I told my DH that I was going to renege on the offer of a hotel, that I wasn't going to pay for them to stay somewhere else so that DIL could hide away from us.  (Am I being a Grinch in this?)

Yes, I think DS is complicit.  I think he does some really stupid things while acting as a GPO (Grand Poobah Overprotector). 


LaurieS

  • Guest
Re: Sit on my hands or try again to fix it?
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2011, 10:04:14 AM »
There is no way I'd give them a hotel room when there is room at the Inn.  I think I'd work on  getting son to see his part in the problem first.. that is where I am with my own son.

Offline Scoop

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 666
    • View Profile
Re: Sit on my hands or try again to fix it?
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2011, 10:10:55 AM »
Seasage, I went and reviewed some of your posts and in one of them you say that DIL has OCD.  I'm sorry to say but you may not be ABLE to have a relationship with her.  She probably won't come to your house because she perceives that it's not clean enough (I don't think it ever COULD be).  She probably doesn't want you coming to her house to 'contaminate' her clean space.

And it's not that she doesn't WANT to have a relationship with you, she can't, because of a mental illness.  And (from what I've read) it's a very anxiety laden one, so she's ANXIOUS all the time, that must be exhausting!

It's hard to say what to do.  You can't talk to DS and say "So, is DIL really psycho?" or any other such insinuation (unless you know for sure she's been diagnosed?).  All you can do is ask him what you can do to make it better, either for him or for her.

Keep the lines of communication open with DS, tell him you support him and you wish things were better with her, and if he thinks of something to please let you know.  Then go on with your life knowing that you've done all you can do.

Scoop

I had a friend who dated an OCD girl and he grew tired of the rituals too.  Because it wasn't enough for HER to stay 'clean', if he wanted to hold her hand, HE had to perform her rituals too.  So he had to flush public toilets with his feet (how nice for the next 'normal' person!), he had to wash his hands and NOT touch the knobs after (unless it was with a paper towel) and he had to grab the exit door at the bottom or at the top when leaving the bathroom (not as many germs in those areas).  Also, he had to wash his hands and not touch anything else before he could 'fool around' with her.  He said it was a hard life and he felt bad for her, but he couldn't live with it.

Offline luise.volta

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8947
  • Luise Volta
    • View Profile
    • Wise Women Unite
Re: Sit on my hands or try again to fix it?
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2011, 10:23:41 AM »
Nope, don't go there. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Faithlooksup

  • Guest
Re: Sit on my hands or try again to fix it?
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2011, 11:03:30 AM »
Seasage, You have been a wonderful MIL~~above and beyond the call of duty!!!   You have done all that you can do...enough is enough!!!

As long as you have a good relationship with DS that is all that counts...In all due respect Seasage, I would not honestly waste another moment on her....Let DS handle her and take it from there, sooner or later the truth always comes out...Good for you renegeing on the hotel room~a grinch you are NOT!!!

DS does indeed has his hands full, just let him know you are there for him...Did she act this way before DS and her married~~I dont know...

Sending Lots of Hugs across the miles, Faith

holliberri

  • Guest
Re: Sit on my hands or try again to fix it?
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2011, 11:18:38 AM »
Seasage,

I'll bite. Have you ever contacted her directly? If so, no, don't try it again. But, if not, then I don't think it can hurt. It eliminates the middle man, and it might put you on good footing. (I said...might!).

But, I'd like to know if you asked her personally first. I would take that phone call as nothing other than goodwill.

Good luck.

seasage

  • Guest
Re: Sit on my hands or try again to fix it?
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2011, 08:21:44 AM »
Seasage, I went and reviewed some of your posts and in one of them you say that DIL has OCD.  I'm sorry to say but you may not be ABLE to have a relationship with her.  She probably won't come to your house because she perceives that it's not clean enough (I don't think it ever COULD be).  She probably doesn't want you coming to her house to 'contaminate' her clean space.

Keep the lines of communication open with DS, tell him you support him and you wish things were better with her, and if he thinks of something to please let you know.  Then go on with your life knowing that you've done all you can do.

Scoop, I wasn't factoring in the OCD.  That may be the real reason she doesn't want to come here, doesn't want me there.  And I don't want to get into a situation where I have to perform her rituals.  Enough reason to let a sleeping dog lie, I think.

As long as you have a good relationship with DS that is all that counts...In all due respect Seasage, I would not honestly waste another moment on her....Let DS handle her and take it from there, sooner or later the truth always comes out..

DS does indeed has his hands full, just let him know you are there for him...Did she act this way before DS and her married~~I dont know...

Uh-huh, Faith.  I think he knew before he married her.  We were the ones who didn't know.  When DS was here last fall, he let slip that she never sits down on toilet seats!  My thought at the time, although I didn't say it aloud, was "Great, that means I don't have to clean the toilet seat in the guest bathroom before she comes."

I'll bite. Have you ever contacted her directly? If so, no, don't try it again. But, if not, then I don't think it can hurt. It eliminates the middle man, and it might put you on good footing. (I said...might!).

But, I'd like to know if you asked her personally first. I would take that phone call as nothing other than goodwill.

Holliberri, ~ one year ago I asked her for a better DIL/MIL relationship by sending a handwritten note card.  She never replied.  I guess that was my answer.


There is no way I'd give them a hotel room when there is room at the Inn.  I think I'd work on  getting son to see his part in the problem first.. that is where I am with my own son.

Laurie, I agree with working on son to help him see his part in this.  I'm not sure what form that will take, but I don't intend to shy away from it when the opportunity presents itself.

Thank you everyone for the advice.  You saved me a lot of sweat and stress. 
seasage
« Last Edit: February 03, 2011, 12:54:44 PM by seasage »

LaurieS

  • Guest
Re: Sit on my hands or try again to fix it?
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2011, 08:24:37 AM »
Quote
Thank you everyone for the advice.  You saved me a lot of sweat and stress.
seasage

That's what we're here for :)

seasage

  • Guest
Re: Sit on my hands or try again to fix it?
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2011, 08:35:24 AM »
Thinking about it all with a clear head, in the middle of the day, I am starting to feel sorry for DS.  I am pretty sure his house-husband duties contribute to his daily stress.  He works 2 jobs, commutes 3 hours a day.  I think DS is in charge of cooking dinner for her when he gets home.  I know DS is at least a 50/50 partner in all the housework, because he told me she won't do any on her own without him.  She thinks that house cleaning on her own would be too much for him to ask.  I also know that they have no social life at their house - no friends around - possibly because DIL is not capable of being a good hostess.

DS is a fabulous person.  He is the guy all the parents wanted for their daughters.  He is the guy who goes into the kitchen and cleans up, doesn't drink too much, is super-smart  and very funny. 

There is something I don't understand about his choices in women!
« Last Edit: February 03, 2011, 12:50:46 PM by seasage »

Offline luise.volta

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8947
  • Luise Volta
    • View Profile
    • Wise Women Unite
Re: Sit on my hands or try again to fix it?
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2011, 08:48:36 AM »
Choice in a mate...is the mystery that has come down through the ages. Sometimes it looks like many would fare better if a number was drawn out of a hat. Maybe strange chemistry that others can't see starts is off and when that fails, nothing is left. I sure don't know.  ???
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline Pen

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4400
    • View Profile
Re: Sit on my hands or try again to fix it?
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2011, 08:54:06 AM »
Seasage, I don't get my DS's choice either. She is devoted to him, and they seem to be working out whatever issues they may have had, but they don't share similar qualities or even interests.

Scoop, the OCD thing may be a factor in my situation with DIL. I have joked here about feeling like she thinks we have cooties, but she may really think we have cooties! Perhaps it's more about her and less about me. Imagine that.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

holliberri

  • Guest
Re: Sit on my hands or try again to fix it?
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2011, 09:16:55 AM »
Hey Seasage,

I wouldn't have responded to a handwritten letter either; I wouldn't know what to write, and I would be afraid that you would be afraid to be put on the spot with a phone call.

(I admit I have confontation issues).

To me, if I received a letter, it would be easier to pretend everything is fine by not responding. Poor decision in thinking about it, but a possible decision just the same.

But, it could very well not be you at all. Although I see no reason why even though you don't stay there and she doesn't stay at your house, why your relationship might not be improved in other areas.

Good luck.