Author Topic: State of the "Dis" Union  (Read 6386 times)

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justdontunderstand

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State of the "Dis" Union
« on: February 09, 2011, 07:17:00 AM »
I have been reading but not posting since the holidays. Today I felt I wanted to update you all on the state of the "dis" union that describes our relationship with our DIL. We had a short visit over the holidays (the first contact in over a year with DIL). It was pleasant enough. Since that time, nearly two months...we are back to no contact with her. After DS and DIL returned to their home (we live in different states), I sent the gifts DIL could not take home on the plane and included a very nice note saying how much we enjoyed her visit. I mentioned that we would gladly share the expenses of visiting by coming to see them next time if they would like. I got no reply whatsoever. No one in our family has spoken, emailed, texted or received a smoke signal ;D from DIL since the visit. I suppose this sums up the situation for us. We try and try to make real, lasting contact with our DIL. We get nothing in return. It just continues to feel like we are completely unimportant to her. We speak with our DS but not speaking with his wife seems bizarre to me...am I wrong to think that this is just not normal? ???

holliberri

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Re: State of the "Dis" Union
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2011, 07:42:34 AM »
If you genuinely enjoyed her visit and sent her a thank you not, can you leave it at that?  Maybe no reply needs to be made. You have contact with DS, right?

My MIL's not great with the responses either (and neither have I been at times, due to that fact), but I keep doing what I do b/c I want to, not b/c what she'll do in return. I also have made it a point to practice not caring what she does in return. It's easier for me to not worry about it, than it is to wonder if it's normal, and try to analyze it and figure out why she's doing it. When I do analyze, I come up with unhealthy terms for it (vindictive, passive-aggressive), and then I begin to justify my own retaliatory actions.

"It is what it is" causes a lot less problems for myself and keeps my behavior in better check. It's been a lot healthier. It's only been 6-7 months of practicing this...but it gets easier.

Offline Scoop

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Re: State of the "Dis" Union
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2011, 08:04:19 AM »
JDU - there are a lot of possible excuses / reasons for DIL to not answer you.

Maybe, since you've had a rocky relationship, she's not ready yet to move forward.  Maybe her baby-steps are smaller than yours.

Maybe, she's not that sociable.  I find it very easy to talk to strangers, but I often have a hard time in social situations where I'm not sure on what's expected of me.  So, I can talk to the person in line with me, but I have a hard time talking to my MIL on the phone.

We all have people that we "click" with, where conversation is easy and it just flows.  We also have people that are harder to talk to.  Maybe she's having a hard time figuring out what to say to you.

Do you think your DS talks on the phone to her Dad?  I think this is an expectation we have of women and it's not fair.  She doesn't have to be your friend.

You talk to DS and she's civil when she visits, I think you should be happy with that and continue your baby-steps to "more".

Offline Pen

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Re: State of the "Dis" Union
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2011, 08:10:44 AM »
I like to know that packages I've mailed have been received. A short note acknowledging receipt would be nice. My SM & DF couldn't take everything back with them either, so at great expense to me I mailed a big box right after the holidays. Not a word. I think it's rude, frankly.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

holliberri

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Re: State of the "Dis" Union
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2011, 09:02:37 AM »
Rude and inconsiderate are probably fair terms for it. Neither of those terms require that I invest a lot of energy into settling the score or trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong. I have rude friends, but I don't take it personally; I'm sure I have a few rude relatives too. That also helps to put it in perspective!
« Last Edit: February 09, 2011, 09:06:09 AM by holliberri »

justdontunderstand

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Re: State of the "Dis" Union
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2011, 09:17:40 AM »
If you genuinely enjoyed her visit and sent her a thank you not, can you leave it at that?  Maybe no reply needs to be made. You have contact with DS, right?

I understand your point. I have left it at that. I am not making it an issue with DIL or DS. However, isn't it a part of life to want to connect with other people and wonder why you can't? How do you ever improve a situation if you don't have some give and take, discussion and contact? JUST THINKING ALOUD.

Offline luise.volta

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Re: State of the "Dis" Union
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2011, 09:30:46 AM »
My guess is that it was hard for her to visit for whatever reason(s) of her own and she's glad it's over. Is that "normal?" For her it may be. Not having her be the way she is...is a huge waste of energy, IMHO. She may have not thanked you for the presents or responded to your offer to come there next time because she doesn't want to encourage you. You want what we all want...an  extended family. We have various expectations regarding how that might look...but none of us saw "The End" written at the bottom of the wedding invitation.

Our sons have the right to choose...wisely or unwisely. They start a new family unit where they make their own  rules. If "for whatever reason" their wives don't want us in the picture, that is for them, as adults (?) to hash out and decide on. We await the verdict and feel helpless and maligned because we are. Sometimes the verdict is given in silences and absences promoted by DIL but not vetoed by DS. Maybe because that's the only way it can be done; they aren't mature enough for confrontation and know they don't have a leg to stand on if they had to directly address it. Rude sends a message but leaves no place for response.

What's going on is about them and about their relationship. They may work through it and be back or they may not. Time will tell. In this picture, I don't think what we say or do has much to do with it unless it can be used against us as justification.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

stilltryen

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Re: State of the "Dis" Union
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2011, 09:41:58 AM »
I get along semi-decently with my DIL, but she never writes or calls either.  Everything is funneled through DS.  Maybe it's not normal, but it's fine with me.  Many moons ago she decided we needed to get to know each other better.  Thus it was that the two of us got together for lunch.  I felt like she was listening to me so that she could find something else to complain about ---- and sure enough.  A couple of days later DS is asking me why I said this, or that she thought the comment I said about that was dumb.  Do I need that stuff?  Nope.  So we went back to the "DS" system and I'm fine with it.

However, your DS should at least let you know they got the stuff you sent.

holliberri

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Re: State of the "Dis" Union
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2011, 09:55:22 AM »
I knew what you were doing, no need for ALL CAPS. I don't know if that's normal for you, but I haven't seen it on this site before directed at someone, so it's not normal for me.

You can read through my post one more time, a little more carefully, and see how similar our situations are. My MIL won't even pick up the phone when I call, but insists on talking through DH. My point was, the only person I'm affecting by trying change behavior that's not going to be changed is me, not her. It's easier for me to try and not think about what she's not doing than it is for me to wonder if it's normal. My life got infinitely easier when I accepted that non-response was indeed, normal behavior for her, at least towards me.

Not well written, I admit, but "leave it at that" meant maybe the problem wasn't you and you shouldn't be worrying about what you can do. Just be yourself. If you choose to send her the package with a nice letter, by all means, do so.

cremebrulee

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Re: State of the "Dis" Union
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2011, 09:56:40 AM »
I have been reading but not posting since the holidays. Today I felt I wanted to update you all on the state of the "dis" union that describes our relationship with our DIL. We had a short visit over the holidays (the first contact in over a year with DIL). It was pleasant enough. Since that time, nearly two months...we are back to no contact with her. After DS and DIL returned to their home (we live in different states), I sent the gifts DIL could not take home on the plane and included a very nice note saying how much we enjoyed her visit. I mentioned that we would gladly share the expenses of visiting by coming to see them next time if they would like. I got no reply whatsoever. No one in our family has spoken, emailed, texted or received a smoke signal ;D from DIL since the visit. I suppose this sums up the situation for us. We try and try to make real, lasting contact with our DIL. We get nothing in return. It just continues to feel like we are completely unimportant to her. We speak with our DS but not speaking with his wife seems bizarre to me...am I wrong to think that this is just not normal? ???

I'm going to tell you something, which really needs to be examined....just because you believe one way, doesn't mean that DIL is going to live up to your expectations....it's a whole different world out there since we grew up....and in order to get along, your going to have to stop expecting her to act certain ways or respond certain ways....she can't and never will be able to live up to your expectations, and when you do that, you set yourselves and her up to fail....just let it go, and give her time....let her be the one to contact you, and don't make suggestions like that....it was the first visit in how long....?  She needs time....just b/c you had a visit, isn't going to mean that she automatically will become family...don't think of her like that, think of her as a work aquaintance and nothing more....give the relationship time....and stop second guessing.  I'm not saying this to be mean, it's just the way it has to be....yanno....

wishing you the best....
Creme

Offline luise.volta

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Re: State of the "Dis" Union
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2011, 11:04:01 AM »
ALL CAPS, where?
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline Pooh

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Re: State of the "Dis" Union
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2011, 11:23:18 AM »
Shewwww Luise, I thought it was just me.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

holliberri

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Re: State of the "Dis" Union
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2011, 11:41:01 AM »
If you genuinely enjoyed her visit and sent her a thank you not, can you leave it at that?  Maybe no reply needs to be made. You have contact with DS, right?

I understand your point. I have left it at that. I am not making it an issue with DIL or DS. However, isn't it a part of life to want to connect with other people and wonder why you can't? How do you ever improve a situation if you don't have some give and take, discussion and contact? JUST THINKING ALOUD.
Since my quote is put into this post and the very last sentence is completely in all caps, I feel as if I'm being yelled at.

It would appear to me, that the OP thinks that I was denying her from thinking aloud. I certainly wasn't preventing her from doing that, and I certainly wasn't invalidating her feelings. In fact, I think I was identifying with them, based on the rest of my post.

Miscommunications happen all the time, and I readily admit my initial post wasn't the best, but somehow, I feel as if the last sentence was an escalation of miscommunication, not a reduction. I think I would've preferred to have been asked what I meant.

Again, it could very well just be me. I'll gladly modify whatever is necessary if you like.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2011, 11:43:11 AM by holliberri »

Offline Pooh

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Re: State of the "Dis" Union
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2011, 12:10:02 PM »
Thanks Holli.  I didn't see it and thought I was losing my mind.  See it now.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

justdontunderstand

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Re: State of the "Dis" Union
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2011, 12:28:36 PM »
I knew what you were doing, no need for ALL CAPS. I don't know if that's normal for you, but I haven't seen it on this site before directed at someone, so it's not normal for me.

Others on the forum quote other people all the time in order to carry on the thread. I am sorry if you took offense at my all caps...it absolutely was not meant to offend anyone...just an innocent emphasis  that I was thinking out loud. I do appreciate your point of view but we all are offering up opinions here...no one knows the whole situation except those that are living it. I come her largely for support and to vent. When I read someone else's advice or perspective, I take away what makes sense to me.  I listen to the rest of it and  say hmmmm....that is interesting.  I have never come here with the intent to offend or yell at anyone. I have enough drama in my life.

Further. I didn't even know that all caps could be interpreted as yelling. I have learned something by your reaction and will take it under advisement. Again, I apologize if I offended you in any way...it was an unintended consequence of just trying to vent.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2011, 12:38:16 PM by justdontunderstand »