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Should I take the first step?

Started by forever spring, August 15, 2011, 01:27:13 am

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forever spring

Dear WW on this site.
I do need some advice today.
I am moving away to a different country on Sunday (it is only about 2 hours flight time away, so not so bad, but still I'm not round the corner any more).
My relationship with the family here has not been good for a while as you probably gathered from previous posts. Since last Thursday it has gone particularly bad because now my DH and I are accused of being bad parents. We were not available to do babysitting duties on a specific day so DS 1 and DIL could not go out. We had a prior arrangement with DS 2. This is the background. My DIL sent me and DS 2 a txt complaining about our lack of assistance for DS 1, her DH. It was sent behind the back of our son.

My DH sent a txt to DIL about 3 days ago to offer talking about the situation but has had no reply.

Now in view of the fact that our time here is limited and I won't be able to see the family (2 lovely GS) here for the foreseeable future (3 months or so), I'm not sure whether I should txt DIL and offer to sort things out, apologize for everything I've done that might have hurt her etc. or whether I should wait for her to make the first step. This may not happen before we leave, though.

We are at an impasse at the moment but I don't want to leave in anger. That wouldn't be good for anybody. My DIL is not a bad person, I'm not a bad person, but somehow so many bad things have happened in this particular relationship that I don't know where to from now? A good relationship between MILs and DILs is vital for the healthy functioning of a family, I know that and would go the extra mile to create it but so far I've been really unsuccessful. We are key women in the family dynamics.

Any advice from this community of like minded people/ WHat do DIL's think.

Jillinthesky

Just a quick reply...
One thing that really stood out to me was the texting.  I personally would curtail communicating that way.  It is just so easy to misinterpret them on both sides.  Though I do text a lot, it's never about anything serious or grievances.  In my experience, I almost found it offensive that instead of just calling and being open, the other person was using an extremely passive form of communication.  I know sometimes it may be easier, but to me, picking up the phone shows that you care a little bit more.  It sounds like your DIL may have been irritated with you (rather wrongly btw) and then instead of censoring herself, whipped off a nasty text.  Would she have said such things directly to you? 
Anyway, I always try to look at what I have been doing, and if it isn't working, try a different approach.  Continually texting back and forth doesn't seem to be working.  Maybe just be calm and up front on the phone?

Pooh

I agree with Jill.  Call them.  If they don't answer, do they have an answering machine so they can hear the tone in your voice?

Leave something that relays your feelings but simple.   Something along the lines of, "Just wanted to call and catch up.  We are leaving Sunday and I would really like to see all of you before we go.  I think something I did may have hurt your feelings and I want to be sure we clear that up before I leave.  Let me know when would be good for you guys."

If they don't return your call, then you can leave with the knowledge that you tried and not feel guilty about it.  It is about them and not you. 
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Pen

Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

luise.volta

I wouldn't take the chance that trying to sort it out could make things worse instead of better. Then you would leave behind a bigger problem. I would let DS and DIL know that if I could be in more than one place at a time, I would do it willingly. And I'd mention that had my fist commitment been to then, they wouldn't have liked my letting them down when DS1 asked for my help. Often no matter what you say, it is misinterpreted, especially in writing. This may even be a very backwards way of their not liking it that you are leaving.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Keys Girl

I agree with Luise, I would not contact them.  They have known that you will be leaving for some time, and could have made an effort to have a party or a nice get together before you go instead of the "blame game".  They may not be happy that you are leaving and might have to step up to the plate to get a new babysitter, or do it themselves.

I would concentrate on packing and spending time with people you won't see for a while who won't blame you for anything.

One piece of advice that I got recently was "When in doubt, do nothing".  It's served me well.

Happy trails to your new home.

"Today I will be as happy as a seagull with a french fry." Author Unknown

forever spring

Thanks to all WWU who replied. I've not gotten back to family yet. Just can't do it. This is very unlike me. I'm usually the one to apologize. I have a is a ring round my heart and I don't know myself and I'm surprise about my own reaction.

What I do know is that I have to snap out of this real quick. I owe it to myself and DH. Maybe the space will be a good thing because words don't mean much at the moment. Every conversation nowadays ends in confrontation. 

The things that have happened in the last year have really made me look at myself in a new light. Mirror held in front of my eyes. I will have to face some truths about myself and how the way I'm being perceived by others. I do not want to see myself as a victim of circumstances.   

Thanks again for your support over time. In the unlimited universe of the internet this is a small corner where one can feel safe.

Congratulations and thanks to all the fine women who monitor this site. It is done with grace and dignity, must be a lot of work though. I'm sure it is rewarding.

I will keep you posted about how life is without the wee ones round the corner in the foreign land. Mind you it won't be forever and I will be back nearer them in about 18 months, hopefully things will have sorted themselves out by then. Who said 'Love conquers all!'?
I'm a believer.
Have a good day everybody. 8)

forever spring

Sorry about the typos, hope it makes sense just the same. Should have checked it more carefully. OUCH!

luise.volta

We are in your corner, C. 100%! And thanks for the kudos regarding this site. I will forward them on to our Webmaster, my son Kirk, who is tireless in his contribution to our cause. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Pooh

Good luck with the move chelms and let us know how it's going!
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

SusieQ123

Hi Chelms,

I'm so sorry for your troubles and glad you found this site.  I've already learned so much from it and everytime I visit, I recieve a new insight to the problem of adult children who turn on us.

I hope your move goes smoothly!

Ruth

Best wishes Chelms!  I am in full agreement with other ladies, nix the texting.  I still hold out for the dog whisperer's 'calm assertiveness' stance.   Rather than seeing yourself as the underdog, and expending vast stores of energy running back over all you've said or done and putting it under a microscope, try and shift that over to feeling more strong and confident that whatever has gone down, you're a person of integrity and make/made the best calls you could when having to think on your feet and make calls on things.   Its important for us to learn to throw the ball into the 'whiner's court more often, I think, instead of continually living on the edge trying to make every thing right for everybody.  I'd say 'I love you' in any way I felt appropriate before leaving, and leave it at that.  They just have to get over it, as my DD told me this week in a letter, (I was really proud of her by the way!)

Begonia

Chelms:  I am new here but I just wanted to say I feel how much you care and I hope you can enjoy your trip by setting things on the back burner.  I like that you have not been texting back and forth to try fix it.  I agree with the idea that people react in different ways when they think people are leaving.  I have had similar reactions from family just before I have gone on a long absence for travel.  Tough to see loved ones take off into the unknown or something....good wishes to you for peace in your situation. 
Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, Today is a gift (Eleanor Roosevelt)

Nana

Chelms....Only adding to this wonderful advice from this wonderful ladies.   Things will be ok... Like you say, you are a good person, also is your dil.....things will have to sort out.... I agree with you...I also walked extra miles to make relationships I care for, succeed.   It is tough leaving this way....but maybe it is better to cool off...and then talk. 

As Luise says...we are in your corner....

Love
Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove:
Shakespeare

forever spring

Thanks so much dear ladies for your good wishes. I have arrived in the new place, spending time with DH 24/7 hurray! DS, DIL and GK have moved into a new house where they live and all that went well. Maybe the new environment will make them feel happier in themselves and when I and DH go for a visit we may be treated real nice!  :)
:-X Sore point and fly in the ointment: missing GK. They are so sweet and give so much joy. Still I do things for them here - make little books and send fun little presents, so not all bad.  :)
Thanks again all wise women UNITE.

PS I think I go on this diet, the success rate is stunning! Congratulations to everybody who is doing it. It seems to be working a treat!  ;)