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DIL doesn't like our friends

Started by Pen, November 18, 2009, 10:47:15 pm

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Pen

Without thinking I invited some old friends for Thanksgiving who DIL doesn't like. I didn't do it on purpose; I was just trying to fill what might have been a lonely table with people whose DD is away at college this holiday. These old friends have been nothing but supportive to us, our DDD, our DS and now our DIL. They threw her a bridal shower, for Pete's sake! But she doesn't care for them at all.

I'm not sure DIL will come for Thanksgiving since she's made her feelings about us known and wouldn't THAT be awkward? Besides, she and DS are going to her family's bash before ours. Anyway, now I'm worried that DS and DIL will take it personally, not show up and DS will be mad at me and then DH will be mad at me for ruining Thanksgiving. In my desire to: A) Have a full table of guests, and B) Not let DIL run my life, I've managed to mess things up. Help!
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

2chickiebaby

Oh my gosh, Penstamen,
I know the "pickle" you are in here.  I don't blame you for not wanting DIL to run your lives and dictate who you can and can't have there.   I wonder if she is insecure about outsiders or something?  Just guessing here....would she feel like this is a betrayal? 

I have a similar situation in which close DIL seems insecure about outsiders if she is not the one inviting them.  She grew up with such a small family unit that different people scare her, I think.  I've whiddled our lives around pleasing both of them till it's crazy.   I don't think it's right to have your Thanksgiving ruined by not having people you want there, though. 

Could that be the case with her?  I'm just throwing out a thought.  Does her family have 'just family' there and no outsiders?  This might be what she feels most comfortable with.  What a dilemma.....I'll bet others have a better reasoning on this than I do.

I've been where you are a hundred times and there never seems to be a good answer for me.   


luise.volta

Can you level with DIL? You forgot. Can you tell her that and ask if Thanksgiving can be an exception to the rule?

You could tell you DIL that when you invited her, you hadn't planned to include the other people and in wanting to fill the table, you see that you were insensitive to her.

Of course she shouldn't control your guest list in your own home but/and it would be kind to let her know in advance who is coming if she has strong feelings on the subject.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Pen

Yes, I definitely plan to tell them. It would be very cruel not to.  I'm just such a chicken I've been putting it off, but you're so right. Time to "woman up."
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Sassy

Luise has made such a lovely suggestion.  Its honest and acknowledges DIL's feelings. 

Why DIL doesn't like the couple could make a difference in your success.  If it's because she thinks they're annoying or boring or pretentious (personality issues) then that's a better situation for you than if its because of something they did to her such as they owe her money or tried to fix their daughter up with your son while she was dating him.

Don't beat yourself up. Don't let your husband, your partner, blame you for cooking, setting and hosting a wonderful holiday dinner for everyone the very best way you could.  You gave your best so gently remind him of that if he blames you for DIL having a pill. Your concerns about how your husband would treat you if you failed to stave off a DIL scene is sad.

Pen

They are our friends, and that's the only reason she doesn't like them as far as I can tell. They've been sweet and generous to us for years, and welcomed DIL graciously because she was the one our DS chose. DIL has said very snotty things about them even though she barely knows them. They aren't "A" list (neither are we.) Looks and status mean everything to her. Here they are paying their daughter's way through an Ivy League school, traveling the world, degrees up the wazoo, etc., etc., but they still aren't good enough because they don't dress fashionably? They live in the boonies like we do? What?? And now I feel I have to give up entertaining my friends because DIL doesn't like them???
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Pen

Sorry if I sounded a little strident at the end of the last post. We're also dealing with DDD's change of residence and it's been stressful.

Luise, your wording regarding how I should broach this with DIL (or rather DS since DIL doesn't want to communicate with me) is gentle and conciliatory. I will use it. Thank you all for taking the time to think about my comparatively easy situation.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

2chickiebaby

Penstamen,
I have a feeling, just by my visit today with the counselor, that you should wear what you want to wear and stop tying to be what she wants you to be.  This has freed me so much!  Once that sunk in, I decided to put it into place in everything I do. 

I have lived my life to please others and it has worn me out.  I'm really exhausted from it.  I cannot make her treat me right but I can turn the 'trying light off'.  I can! 

This trying to placate the DILs to make them like us so they won't be mean and nasty to us is utterly ridiculous once you think about it.  We're adults.  We're parents.  They owe us nothing but they do owe us respect.  If we don't get respect from them, move on! Others will respect us. 

Another thing she said is that society has turned "self care" into "self-centeredness"!  How true!  This woman is brilliant in my book. 

lilyofthevalley

I have people on my guest list for holidays that don't get along completely with each other but get along with me.  I feel like as long as both parties know the other is coming, they can decide if they want to come or not.  I'd say the same for your DIL.  Let her know they'll be there and then they can decide if they want to come or not. 

Pen

It's only our DIL. Our friends have no idea she doesn't like them since I've not wanted to be cruel and it would hurt them deeply. They are the sweetest, most kind people we know. In fact, I just now told them I was sorry to uninvite them but we had to regroup as a family and I hoped they understood. Of course they were gracious about it, because they want what's best for us. DS and DIL are coming unless something unforeseen comes up, so problem solved (she says, in a hopeful tone.)  And, we may have solved the housing issue for DDD, so many things are looking up. Thanksgiving indeed:)
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

2chickiebaby

Such good news, Penstamen!  So happy for you....keep us posted  :)

mom2

Penstamen,

So happy to see Thanksgiving is coming together for you !!! That's great.  :)