May 19, 2019, 02:34:18 pm


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The seasons they go 'round and 'round

Started by amflautist, July 18, 2011, 10:21:44 am

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And the painted ponies go up and down...  I can't get that song out of my head today.  All because my son called me yesterday to tell me of his and DIL's plans for not-visiting during the holidays this year.  Not visiting yet again.  They will spend Thanksgiving with her FOO and then skip off to Australia for Christmas.  DS thinks his plan of seeing us the weekend before Thanksgiving will be OK.  Well, not actually seeing us, but meeting us "in a neutral place", in a restaurant, for a meal.

Background: This has been going on for several years.  It started the year he and DIL bought a house.  Instead of coming to our house for Thanksgiving that year, as planned, they changed the game by inviting her FOO to stay in the new house and celebrate Thanksgiving.  We weren't invited, because there was no room left at the inn.  The next year, when it was our turn to have them for Christmas, they went to her FOO again, with the excuse that they wanted to "get in synch" with her sister's visits home.  This is the year he and DIL are supposed to come to our home instead of her FOO's for Christmas. 

So we were blanked out again.  Yup, the painted ponies they go up and down, and I am going round and round, playing the circle game.  So I'll put on a sweet face once again, invite them for dinner at our home instead of a neutral place, and see what transpires. 

Still, I feel very lucky.  I know that DS loves his family, and I know that he will come to see us at least once a year without DIL.


I think it is such a sign of grace, as in Grace, when we can focus on what we feel grateful for. Bless your heart.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Grace, as in you Luise.  You are the grace on this site.

Me?  No.  I'm an imposter, a Great Pretender.  But I appreciate all the women at WWU who display grace.  They inspire me.  By their examples, the exhort me to do the right thing.  There are quite a few great ones here.  We all should be taking our cues and learning from them.

LL, I am thinking of you as I write this!!!


Bless your heart amflautist.  I know that was very hurtful but kudos to you for looking on the bright side of at least you are getting to see them. 
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


Amflautist, I'm often in "fake it til you make it" mode. But I will never, ever, ever let DS/DIL/DIL's FOO know how it rips me to shreds to always be last. Speaking of song lyrics, "Our Lips Are Sealed." Now that's dating myself! Check out the cool clothes!
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


I so identify with you!  and I hear what you are saying about being the great imposter. just found out my son's future inlaws have inserted themselves into what should be a special moment for he and his fiancĂ©. He said "we could come too, if we wanted to." I asked him if he wanted us there. " it was no that's okay." they are attending this event because it's "tradition". horse hockey! The future MIL is marking her territory. I've lost all holidays because Our traditions mean nothing. I keep pressing their need as a young couple to establish their own family and their own traditions. Ain't gonna happen. So I validate your anger, when did we become irrelevant ?  :'(
So, I like you grit my teeth and pretend it's all okay, but you know facing my second Christmas dinner in a Chinese restaurant because my sons have been sucked into some other families traditions without a second thought to the years of traditions they are so easily discarding just hurts.If they were building their own traditions it would be one thing - they will never get the chance. grrrr. >:(

lancaster lady

amflautist ;

I am so flattered by your statement .
I  missed my Gd's first Christmas as she was with my F/DIL's FOO . Not only that they spent New Year's too , without a thought for my DS family . That was the straw that broke the camels back for me . I also missed her 1st birthday as they spent
that with my FDIL FOO too .
I couldn't pretend any longer that things were ok .I always wonder whether these things were done to purposely hurt
me or not .Also had I not raised these facts where would we be today .
Fate took over , and landed them in my lap whether they wanted to be here or not .
I always try to be the best that I can be , always take others feelings into consideration .
A gypsy once told me it would be returned to me a hundredfold , perhaps it's happening now ...... :)

Purple Room

My mother always used to say to me "My son is my son until he takes a wife, my daughter's my daughter for the rest of her life."Seems she was right but it still doesn't feel good.

Relating so much to what you are all saying.


I know how you feel only from the other end. I was always second string to OS, even to the point of M choosing to spend both holidays with OS while OS and I were on the outs. M tried to convince me that it wasn't any sort of rejection, but since I lived in the next town and OS lived two states away and getting together in such a short period of time was unprecedented, I wasn't convinced. Anyway, the second year this happened, OS flaked out on Tday and I rescued M so she wouldn't have to be aloooone. Turns out she had about 5 guests turning up anyway. The next year, I decided I wouldn't be second string if, or I should say when, OS flaked out again and made other plans. Sure enough, M expected me to come running when OS decided at the last minute she wasn't coming up. Didn't do it and even though M  continued to chose not to have either holiday with my family despite offering to celebrate on other days, she still expected me to rescue her, but I always made sure we couldn't come running. She was always welcome to come to us, but I never again went to her. And, I stopped asking. I moved on. She showed me who she was and what I could expect of her, I learned from it and I moved on. I brushed the dust off of my clothes, as the saying goes. It was painful, and ten years later I am still brushing, but I am not waiting around like some forgotten doll for my M to notice me which was a form of heck I won't ever revisit.

That is what you have to do here. There is a new order of things, so plan accordingly. Don't even expect to have them anymore. Make plans, fun and exciting, or comfortable, or religious, or whatever fits you and DH, and if they unexpectedly decide to show up, tell them you have something  planned. They are welcome, but you aren't changing your plans. You can only control you, so do what you can to make these holidays the kind that are memorable and happy occasions.

Another good thing to do is to step back from it emotionally. I don't think this is done intentionally to hurt you or to avoid you, so don't assume it is. I know how easy it is to let yourself wallow in the pain of it. Do for a little while, then put it away, chose not to give them and this situation the power to hurt you anymore. Change your expectations and plan accordingly. I promise the pain will become a dull ache rather than a horrible condition that demands all of your time and energy.


 I really think it has to do with the whole "man" thing. Years ago when we were agriculturally based when a boy got to a certain age he switched his primary parent from the nuturing Mother to his Father. He became "a man" and did man's work with his father. He didn't feel the need to break away from his FOO origin and a wife left her "fathers house" and came to her husbands, which was actually her husband's family home.

Now Dad goes to work in an office and Mom remains the primary parent in many cases, right up until his first serious relationship when God forbid his significant other get the impression he is a "momma's boy".

my son has done the pull back, and I honestly don't think his fiancé has a thing to do with it. I really think in his mind if he pushes to stay close to his FOO he is acting like a Mamas Boy, because I am, like all of us are - the center that makes the family work. It's really easy to blame this all on my future DIL but it wouldn't be fair. I'm just looking back on the years of always being there for him, and feeling more then a little resentful, thinking I deserved better.


July 19, 2011, 07:35:40 pm #10 Last Edit: July 22, 2011, 07:34:02 pm by luise.volta
If we only got what we deserved and have, by the way, earned. Sometimes it just isn't in the cards. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Trying, I think you are right. I also read someplace that girls workout those boundary issues with their M as adolescents because they tend to clash more and as women, they need to know where the boundaries are, while boys just learn to tell their M what they want to hear and then do what they want, because the M isn't stepping on anyone's toes, so no harm no foul. So, when the boy grows up and gets married and he hasn't worked out those issues, he has no clue where to begin when there are now toes to be stepped on. He just continues to do what he has always done, but that doesn't work anymore and he makes a huge mess of things, or I should say he facilitates the mess. And, he doesn't understand what the big deal is, he doesn't get the problem.


I thought this article was interesting and it ties into tryingmybest point.  It does not seem very unusual for males to have weaker relationship skills nowadays.  My grandfather likes to say "men can only handle one woman at a time."  I really do not think it is true.  It seems for whatever reason men are not held to the same standards as women.  I've heard people discuss promotions at work and whenever a female was involved, her niceness level was always assessed.  Whereas males did not need to meet this niceness requirement. 
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


Good luck keeping a happy outward appearance.  I think that is essential for not escalating a holiday disagreement into an actual rift.  Maybe to your DS and DIL getting together the weekend before TG is just as good and they would be truly baffled if you complained.  Maybe there are bona fide reasons for them to favor her family for the holidays that you are not privy to (someone has a mental illness).  Many times when a couple marries, both extended families expect things to be split evenly or as close as possible, and that doesn't always work.  If you've raised more than one child, you know you can't treat them exactly the same.  How do you pick out Christmas presents fairly?  Do you spend the same amount of money on each or does each child get the same number?  Either way you do it, one child can claim the other method as proof of favoritism.  Married couples have to compromise on many things.  Maybe spending holidays with her side was a compromise for something else (you can go to your fraternity reunion on MY birthday, but then we get to spend Christmas with my family or you can spend the tax refund on your expensive hobby, but then we get to spend Thanksgiving with my family).  It may seem to an outsider that the DIL is excluding her ILs, but there could be more to the story.  My own friends would mock me no end for advising someone else to assume no insult is intended, but that is what I would suggest. 


I agree that compromise is necessary in making holiday plans, but I think the schedules of the ILs should be taken into consideration before making deals with DH or DW. We ILs might not be available the weekend before or after, or perhaps we're planning on taking a cruise & won't even be home. The assumption that lame old MIL & FIL are just sitting around waiting for DS & DIL to grace us with their presence is often wrong. In my case, I work long hours, and putting on a Thanksgiving dinner, for example, the weekend before would not be enjoyable for me. Also, our DD isn't available at that time so I'd have to cook a second big meal on the actual day of Thanksgiving to accomodate her schedule. I think some years DH & I should get first choice on holidays!

Some of us MILs know for sure that DIL is excluding us. It certainly isn't speculation on my part, I've heard it loud and clear. We come last, DIL's FOO comes first. That's how it is; we accept it, or we don't see DS. The reason we don't have any rifts regarding holidays is because DH & I always fit ourselves in around DIL's FOO's schedule and never say a word.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb