Author Topic: would like some advice please  (Read 4651 times)

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Offline isitme?

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would like some advice please
« on: December 08, 2009, 07:36:18 AM »
FMIL still refuses to speak to me over the phone but tells everyone she "really wants to talk". As I've said in some of my other posts, the problem is not really with me - it's that she is an unhappy person and her whole family has given into her tantrums and buried their heads in the sand about the fact that she might actually need professional help for 40 years.  This is destroying her family as her sons make themselves more and more distant from her.  At this point, I don't feel like I want anything to do with her - I have tried and tried but have been kicked too many times.

On the DIL support groups (what are called "MIL Hate sites" here), I've been advised to try to talk to on the phone ONE more time if/when it comes up and then cut her off completely when/if she refuses and tell my BF that I've done everything I can and now I'm done.  Is that acceptable?  It sounds to me like they also think that in order for us to present a united front, BF should ALSO refuse to speak to his mother until she can behave.  I don't think this is right, nor do I think it is possible.  In fact, because his phone isn't working, I let him borrow mine so he could call her yesterday.  I didn't hear their conversation but in the past, I have been very hurt by the fact that he glosses over anything that's wrong and basically does not even bring me up during these conversations.  When he's with his mom, I feel like he has to pretend that I don't exist or else she will get too upset.  Sometimes when I'm mad I call myself "his invisible girlfriend that doesn't really exist around his mother."  He claims that he confronts her on her behavior but I have never witnessed it and don't know what this means anymore.  This is eroding our relationship day by day and I no longer feel like a united front because I don't know what is going on.  I don't want to pester him about this everyday - we both work long hours and are tired in the evening.  I also don't want this situation to continue - either I will leave him, and/or something is going to give with his mother and destroy whatever relationship currently exists (between them).  This is NOT something that I feel he can bury his head in the sand about any longer and as much as I hate the idea of giving him ultimatums, I feel like maybe I should because I want this relationship to work - I love my boyfriend very much and want him to be happy.  His mother is making us both REALLY unhappy and because of how things are, I no longer feel like we are on the same page.  But he's told me that if we break up because of his mother, he will never forgive her.  I don't want to make him cut off his mother - she's his mother.  But as the outsider, how much can I do?  These are the choices I want to give him:

1)  Try to get his mother some professional help - she needs some kind of psychiatric or psychological counseling.
2)  Get himself some counseling to help him understand the situation a little better.
3)  Have us BOTH (me and him, not me and FMIL as someone on this forum suggested) got to counseling so we can try to deal with this with an objective third party.
4)  End the relationship and go back to his mother.  Some of my mentors are pushing me to apply for a job overseas and I have started considering it - if we have to break up, I just want to get away from my life here and start over somewhere new.
5)  Come up with some kind of active plan on his own but TELL ME ABOUT IT and put it into action NOW...  not two months from now, not six months from now, not the week before he's supposed to move to Chicago, because I will have left him long before that...

I hate the idea of having to be so pushy about this but I just dont' know what to do.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Offline isitme?

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Re: would like some advice please
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2009, 08:39:48 AM »
I don't want to cut her off either - for the very same reasons you stated.  But I also would NEVER let someone in my family treat my BF the way he lets his family treat me.  I told him this the other day - not in anger but matter of factly. And it's true.  He almost cried because he felt so bad but I dont' think he is capable of dealing with this effectively and because of that he's going to end up losing me AND destroying the relationship with his mother.

You're right - it's not my place to get her help.  She can't admit she has a problem - it's because of OTHER people "my FDIL doesn't CALL me", "my son doesn't listen to me" etc. etc.  what can you do with such people?

Aisling

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Re: would like some advice please
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2009, 08:47:17 AM »
Cut-offs are difficult to maintain, and and should always be a last resort.  I suggest counseling, for both of you together and him alone, as a first step.  If that doesn't work, then I think it would be time to give him a choice: you going into cut-off, or you leaving.  If his mom refuses to act decently, you are in no way obligated to continue subjecting yourself to nastiness and pain.

And please, tell your BF your true feelings.  He deserves to know that you're thinking of leaving because he doesn't support you.  I know you're both tired after work, and that you don't want to nag, but this is a very important discussion that you owe to him and to yourself.  Tell him calmly and factually.  Try to avoid getting emotional (lots of men don't handle emotional displays well and deal better with facts).  Tell him what your options for happiness are, so he understands what he has to gain--and what he has to lose.

As for FMIL, there's nothing really left for you to do.  You can't force her to change.  The only person you can change is yourself.  Try to detach.  Remind yourself that the horrible things she says and done are no reflection on you: they reflect only her own misery.

Don't JADE (Justify, Argue/Apologize, Defend, Explain) to the Flying Monkeys.  Tell them only that when your MIL is willing to have a mature relationship with you, you'll be happy to hear from her.  It's none of their business what sort of relationship you have with FMIL, or why it is how it is.  I know you'll be tempted to defend yourself and explain yourself, but anything you tell them will be reported back to FMIL.  She'll then cry and say "but that isn't truuuuuue", and twist things around, and another round of nonsense will begin.

2chickiebaby

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Re: would like some advice please
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2009, 10:10:41 AM »
This is awful, Isitme, just awful....what a terrible "pickle" to be in!  For some reason his Mother has it in for you and is not willing to see you for who you are.  I do not know what to tell you about what to do.

I don't understand distant DIL at all.  AT ALL.  I have tried every single idea on how to like her and I do pretty well....she's a person too but whew, it's hard.  I try to see the good in her and look past the "no tact" things.  The downright hurtful things I just swallow.  I've seen and heard of worse people. 

Isitme? (we need to shorten your name), your situation is 'damned if you do and damned if you don't'.  If you love each other and you are willing to look past his mother and her shennanigans, then you could make it but if you can't look past them, you won't. 

Believe me, if you marry him, his Mother will have to get over her dislike of you.  She will!  Do you read me?  Somebody has to give here. 

Can you possibly just be very sweet to her when you see her?  That's what I have to do....let everything go over your head like you don't get it when she says something in a passive aggressive way?  I know; it's hard!  Actually, it is taking my life. 

Aisling

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Re: would like some advice please
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2009, 10:35:34 AM »
Believe me, if you marry him, his Mother will have to get over her dislike of you.  She will!  Do you read me?  Somebody has to give here. 

Can you possibly just be very sweet to her when you see her?  That's what I have to do....let everything go over your head like you don't get it when she says something in a passive aggressive way?  I know; it's hard!  Actually, it is taking my life.

Unfortunately, no, she won't "have to" get over disliking anybody.  All too often, the marriage cracks before the MIL.  "Go along to get along" almost never works with these kinds of people.  Better to start as you mean to go on.

And why, chickie, if your strategy is so hard on you, would you recommend it to anyone else?  That seems counterintuitive.  Wouldn't finding a better strategy that doesn't feel like it's taking your life be a better idea?

2chickiebaby

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Re: would like some advice please
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2009, 10:45:25 AM »
I don't know what you mean...do you mean never seeing my son again?  Or my Grandchildren?  What would the better strategy be?

I didn't choose her but my son did.  I'm the one who has to deal with it. 

Isitme's boyfriend's mother will have to deal with it.

Where am I missing this?
 

Aisling

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Re: would like some advice please
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2009, 10:51:55 AM »
If you really, honestly think this is killing you, chickie, you need a lot more help than anyone here can provide.  Not being a trained therapist myself, I can only point out that one would be of immeasurable value to you.

I will say this, though: all the evidence suggests that truly narcissistic people (which is what isitme's FMIL is sounding like) will not change.  They Will. Not. Change.  Avoidance is pretty much the only viable option, if one wishes to avoid being sucked into the dysfunction.

just2baccepted

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Re: would like some advice please
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2009, 10:55:05 AM »
I didn't hear their conversation but in the past, I have been very hurt by the fact that he glosses over anything that's wrong and basically does not even bring me up during these conversations.  When he's with his mom, I feel like he has to pretend that I don't exist or else she will get too upset.  Sometimes when I'm mad I call myself "his invisible girlfriend that doesn't really exist around his mother."

Isitme, my DH does the same thing when talking to his mom and dad.  He NEVER mentions my name and he never says anything about my family to his family.  Its like we don't exist.  So I know exactly how you feel.  Early in the marriage I thought it was odd that he didn't mention me in his conversations with them.  And that he wouldn't tell them anything that we did with my family.  He just say he didn't want to upset them etc.  But now he says its more that he always has felt like he should limit info to them so that they won't be given any ammunition against me or my family.

 I think its easier for his family to pretend like I don't exist, just like they don't send me card for birthday or anything like that.  And they pictures on their fridge of everyone holding their grandson, except me of course.  Its so sad that people like this cannot accept their child's significant other, b/c in the end all they end up doing is alienating themselves when all along they were just trying to alienate you/me.  Breaks my heart everyday.

Offline isitme?

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Re: would like some advice please
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2009, 11:01:28 AM »
Thanks for trying to help me out with this ladies.  I really appreciate it. 

2chickiebaby - I have tried so hard to be sweet and nice to this woman.  I have had several of HER friends tell me they wish I was dating THEIR son so that I would be their daughter in law.  From day one I had cold vibes from her but I did my best to give her the benefit of the doubt, be friendly, sweet, accepting, you name it.

She is never going to change.  She makes herself and everyone around her unhappy.  This becomes a vicious cycle because then who wants to spend time with her?  She actually sounds a lot like Victim who has been on this forum - but at least Victim is trying to go to counselling.  My FMIL has no insight whatsoever and in her eyes never does anything wrong.  What can I do with someone like that? 

Aisling, thanks.. I think I"m going to tell my BF that I no longer feel like a united front and I would like us to try couples therapy.  We are always waiting for a good time to deal with this but the truth is, it's NEVER a good time and it's not something we can put off until it "comes up".  Sometimes when I bring things up though, he wants specific examples about what happened that made me bring up the situation.  I don't want to go into the petty details though - I can't jsut say "I finally realized after you had a 50 minute conversation with you mother on my phone and didn't even mention me or any of the cr*p that she is putting us through, that I can't do this anymore".  I mean, it sounds ridiculous - the truth is, it's everything that has happened since day 1 - we have talked and talked and talked about it and he agrees we need to work on things and be united and stand as a couple with his mom..... but it's more talk and not enough action.  We didn't get to go to their place for Thanksgiving because we both got the flu and last weekend I had to miss his SIL's baby shower because of work so I feel like he's going to use that as an excuse for non-action and say  that since we haven't even had a chance to sit down with them lately why can't we wait and see what happens?  Sometimes I wonder if we should wait too - but since his mother now refuses to talk to me on the phone to "air her issues" (been there, done that, it means nothing), I dont' think it can.  I"m not about to give in to her tantrum and make a special trip (4 hours away) up to visit her just so she can cry and continue to have tantrums.  Is that unreasonable of me?  I'm sorry I didn't get to see them the last two times but it was for genuine reasons and I did call to apologize (spoke to his dad).

She's never going to change - she will always dislike me because deep down inside, she probably dislikes herself and everything around her.  That's why I feel bad for her and wish her family would get her help.  But at the end of the day, the only person I can change is myself, and the only relationship BF and I can try to "fix" is ours.  We have tried to have a relationship with her but it seems she will only accept the relationship with her son and there is no room for me in it.   :-\

Just2b:  it's really hurtful to be the invisible girlfriend/wife that doens't really exist - I don't care so much about his family, but it hurts that BF goes along with it because he's afraid of rocking the boat.  And it's things like that that maybe make some DILs go a little crazy and cut their inlaws out of their lives.  But maybe that's not the healthiest solution because then everybody loses.  What can any of us do?  I hope we are all able to find some answers on this site!
« Last Edit: December 08, 2009, 11:26:41 AM by isitme? »

2chickiebaby

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Re: would like some advice please
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2009, 11:04:42 AM »
I think I mentioned that I'm going to a counselor.  I have to go because I have to save myself. What you don't understand is that to lose your child, not through death but through marriage, is like a death but you don't get a funeral, a closure.

I know that no one here can help me.  I'm just trying to find something to hang on to and to understand what has gone so awry in people's lives that they treat their husband's parents like they are bad? 

Us? Bad? We were the place and people everyone wanted to be around.  That's what I don't get.  A friend said to me recently, "doesn't she realize how much you're loved?"

It doesn't matter to me about how we're loved....we're not loved by the right people.  These others don't matter. 

The only reason I'm going to counseling is because it's through our church and it's free.  No more money is going to be spent by me to try to figure this out!  I can only change myself.

If you ever have kids, you'll know the feeling.   


2chickiebaby

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Re: would like some advice please
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2009, 11:18:49 AM »
Oh!!! This is heartbreaking!!!!!!  It really is. Just2be....I just can't stand this for you!!

I have a situation where one of my DILs puts pictures of everyone BUT distant DIL around at her house.  Even in the babies books.  I know it kills her.  It just about kills me.

What is she trying to accomplish by doing that?  It's so cruel.  I'm the one that distant DIL has hurt, not her.   There is a little battle for boss going on here and I don't get it. 

Just2be....your MIL is trying to hurt you for some reason; that's the only thing I can see.  You are very tenderhearted, just like I am so I'm sure this all wounds you to the core and it shows on your face.  Can you try to not let it do that?




just2baccepted

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Re: would like some advice please
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2009, 11:31:54 AM »
Chickie I know you've probably already mentioned this.  But does distant DIL and son live in another state.  And if so how often do you get to see them.  My Dh calls his mom and dad once a week.  And we see them sporadically like for lunch or holidays etc.

So far I just don't go around them that much.  So I guess that's how I'm currently dealing with their rejection.  I really dont' know what else to do.  But thanks for your words of encouragement.

Offline isitme?

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Re: would like some advice please
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2009, 11:35:57 AM »
" I don't care so much about his family..."
Is it possible that his Mom picks up on the fact that you don't care about them?  I know my dil doesn't care about us & it hurts.

When I said that I meant, I'm not going to let it bother me that his family ignores me - but it does hurt me when BF goes along with that, just like just2be.  I did care once... but now I know it's them and not me.  I'm not a dog that will get kicked over and over again and then keep going back for more.  However,  I do my best to be polite even now.  I did everything I could to show that I cared - I visited them over the holidays, tried to engage them in conversation.  When I brought his mother a housewarming gift for her new place she told me she didn't want anything but I gave it to her anyways as graciously as possible (tried to make a joke out of it actually - I said, "Well it's not going to fit in my suitcase on the way home so I'd like you to have it.... according to BF she later said she liked it and complained that her other DIL hadn't brought a gift....)..   Few months later (AFTER I started to hear the negative stuff), I went to visit them soon after I had returned from a family visit to India and brought them a few things THAT THEY HAD REQUESTED.  When I said "I brought you some gifts from India" she said "I don't accept gifts from people."  so again, I tried to be gracious and deal with the situation with humor and said "okay, well I brougth you some stuff then, not a gift."  Not in a mean way, but in a friendly way to try and diffuse the situation. I have never gotten emotional, openly angry or been mean to these people.  Even when they are at their rudest, I have kept a smile on my face and tried to be pleasant and calm. 

The point I'm trying to make Anna is that I have tried.  I've cared and I've tried to show that I care and even when I've had to make myself stop caring because it hurt too much, I keep trying to show that I care for my BF's sake and because I believe in family and don't want to come between anyone and their family.  This woman could have had a good relationship with me - my own mother died when I was younger so I would have welcomed a good relationship with my MIL.  But she just won't allow it and it's driving everyone around her away.  Just as I've learned it's not always the MIL's fault, I think it needs to be acknowledged that it's not always the DIL's fault either.  But everyone here is right - cutting someone out is NOT the answer... So what is?  I think for now it's counseling for whoever is willing to go.  I hope 2chickiebaby is able to find some relief.  I hope all of us are able to find some way to heal.  I hope BF will realize this is a serious enough problem and agree to go to counseling NOW and not a few months down the road after all this bitterness and anger has destroyed everybody's relationship with everyone else.   :-\
« Last Edit: December 08, 2009, 11:43:18 AM by isitme? »

just2baccepted

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Re: would like some advice please
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2009, 11:37:37 AM »
" I don't care so much about his family..."
Is it possible that his Mom picks up on the fact that you don't care about them?  I know my dil doesn't care about us & it hurts.

I hope that its not that she doesn't care about you but that its what I mentioned in the other thread about possibly feeling threatened or left out of her children's growing up and maybe she feels like she missing out on the children's upbringing and you remind her of the pain.  I haven't' read your response yet to other post, but that really seems to stick out me about your situation.  Time may heal your problem I'm thinking.  I hope.

2chickiebaby

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Re: would like some advice please
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2009, 11:40:45 AM »
No, same state but different cities....3 hours apart.  I do not understand what close DIL is trying to do....I wonder if all this stuff is a battle for first place or something.

Your MIL is trying to be in first place, I guess.  This is so silly, I can't tell you and so hurtful.

My elderly friend, whom I adore said to just come home and write it all down like it was a TV show, a funny TV show.  It sounds crazy but I might give it a try. 

Some of the things Distant DIL says are funny if they are not directed at you.  ha ha ha