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Introducing Myself

Started by Cheerios, August 25, 2011, 04:23:18 pm

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I am de-lurking to sign-in and say hello. I have read the Open Me First, and look forward to getting know everyone.

I am a DIL, well I am many things too ;), but I think it is important to focus here. My husband has had a strained relationship with his parents and his mother's parents for as long as I have known him. We were childhood sweethearts, so it has been a while. There were a few years where they stopped talking to us and us to them. We have been all trying to be better for about 4 years now.

I really am here because I would like to better support my husband and his decisions regarding the relationships. Things were going pretty well, but we have seemed to slip backwards. We are at the point where my husband doesn't want me to be alone with his mom. It isn't that she would hurt me physically, but she has had a history being very hurtful with her words or surprises people in bad ways. We have a little one on the way soon, and things have gotten more and more tense. We are considering counseling to get our boundaries in order, and so we discuss them calmly. There are some very big issues that can't be ignored. My MIL wants to come over and talk, but I think she may be insulted if her son is there. To be fair, we do both have home offices, so it would be out of the norm. I was thinking tea or something.

We have had issues (as all relationships do) with my parents, but my parents took a lot of time and work establish a healthy relationship with us as adults and a new family unit. We have never had an issue that couldn't be discussed with common decency. Not perfect discussions by any means or no one getting heated, but never threatening or cruel. I just don't know how to handle name-calling or brutal behavior without walking away. You know the "you can be invited to a fight, it doesn't mean you have to show up". But the fight might bust down my door! :'(

I am not sure what to put in this post. I am sure I will have write a different one for the specific issues.

I hope this forum can be helpful, and hopefully I can be helpful too.


Welcome - C. My take is that cruelty and abuse have no place in my life and I don't care who the people that dish it out are related. I set boundaries based on my own self respect. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


What's that saying - "you teach people how to treat you".  No one has the right to brutalize you or call you names, deal breaker, game over.


I found that it was hard to accept that people in general could be cruel, some intentionally so.  I think perhaps because my mother was sadistic, and I did n't want to believe that of her.  It felt kind of scary and lonely to admit it, but once I did, my life changed. 

I would trust your husband's judgement on this one - he knows her all too well I'm afraid.  You sound very reasonable.  If you do meet with her, I would make it public and time-limited - lunch perhaps.  Keep it somewhat formal with good boundaries about topics you are willing to discuss.  Maybe even rehearse some kind and respectful ways to say "no I'm not going there," or "Gotta go."

Anyway, these are my thoughts.  It doesn't sound as if your mil is quite as corrupt as my mother, but do also consider the amount of 'alone' time you want your new child to spend with gm.  I made a very big mistake living in denial about someone who was not very nice just because we were related.


Quote I just don't know how to handle name-calling or brutal behavior without walking away

I think that's exactly how you're supposed to handle it.  JMHO.

Welcome to the group, cheerios.  I'm a DIL, too.   :-*

If your husband doesn't want you alone with her, my guess is it's for a good reason.  A history of saying very hurtful words and springing bad surprises probably predicts future behavior pretty well.  I found it interesting that you chose the word "insulted" to describe how MIL would likely feel if DH is at home when she comes over. I'd like to hear more.  Looking forward to getting to know you.


Welcome Cheerios and thanks for taking the time to read the agreement and browse around the site!

I would go with your DH's lead too.  I think it's great that both sides are still willing to continue to work out the differences, that says alot about you and your DH since your MIL has been cruel at times, so kudos for that!

I would keep all meetings in a public place to begin with.  People that will be mean to someone when no one else is present, don't normally like to cause public scenes.  They want everyone to see them as the good person and the other person is just lying about their behavior.   I would definitely not meet with her without DH since he apparently sees the issues and wants to do it right.  He's not only protecting you, but laying his own boundaries of what is acceptable behavior.  Good for him!  If it upsets her....well...then ok.  She's already upset and if she is truly sincere about working things out, then she needs to see you guys as a united front and that getting to you without him, doesn't fly.

She either embraces the chance to work things out, or doesn't.  I would tell the truth about the meeting.  "We are not comfortable meeting with you without each other, because this involves all of us and how we can communicate better as a whole." 

I keep seeing a repeating pattern here in all our situations.  DH's that kind of have blinders on, do not help the situation.  DH's that go in proactive and supportive of their wives, have alot clearer picture.  I think your DH is seeing very clearly.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


Welcome Cheerios :)

I think following your DHs lead is a good idea, he knows MIL and the situation better.
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


Yes!  Kudos to your DH.  You're very fortunate that he's matured enough to identify his mother's behaviors as inappropriate.  Lots of our DH's see that, but refuse to believe it or say anything about it...sometimes for fear of making her angry and making matters worse.  Follow his lead lady, it sounds like he has your best interests at heart.


I thought about the idea that she would be insulted if you did not ask DH to leave the house when she came to talk to you. I thought about DH not wanting you to be alone with her because of the very hurtful things she says.  I came to the conclusion, and correct me if I'm wrong, that it appears she would be insulted if she were not given the privacy to insult you.



Quote from: Cheerios on August 25, 2011, 04:23:18 pm
She has had a history being very hurtful with her words or surprises people in bad ways.

I thought i had posted earlier but may not have been signed in.  I'm wondering if your MIL has some serious personality disorder or mental problem that affects other people in her life.  "Surprising people in bad ways" sounds strange and just not right.

Her wanting to meet w you alone, perhaps to keep your dh from defending you probably isn't a good idea unless you feel comfortable in a public setting; your son seems to want to be with you on this, right?  I don't blame him......