Author Topic: Re: The Talk  (Read 4841 times)

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Shelby

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Re: The Talk
« on: November 03, 2011, 12:28:49 PM »
Okay, I was going to start a new thread in a few days, but this topic has morphed into what is bugging me - at what point do we quit sucking it up, looking the other way, glossing over things?  And when do we talk to DS and say - "hey, what is the deal?" 

For background, we have a chilly DIL, and a good relationship with DS, but DIL wants very little to do with us.  Very possessive of DS.  They live in another city.  (full history on earlier threads - won't bore you here).  Latest is that DS' grandmother - my darling MIL - died about a month ago. 

DIL has ignored this death in the family.  DS and DIL were unable to come to the service - too far away, new job, etc.  That is just fine.  We totally understand, and believe that the important thing is to be kind and loving when the person is alive.  Friends, neighbors, other family members sent cards, called, etc to show their support and concern.  All grandchildren were supportive, sensitive to their father and GF, whose wife had just died.  The only family member who has totally ignored the GM's death is our DIL.  I am in disbelief, and deeply hurt.  This isn't quite like forgetting a birthday or anniversary.  I was stunned she ignored FIL's very serious illness last spring (in hospital for over 2 weeks) - and now his wife has died and no word from DIL.  No card, no phone call.  Nothing.  Don't care that she didn't send flowers or a memorial donation.  All we wanted was a card or just handwritten note to either FIL or my husband. 

I really don't think I am over-reacting.  After all, this is a DEATH of DS's grandmother.  I tried to give it plenty of time - i think a month is enough. 

Question for all you ladies is --  Do DH and I have a quiet, calm conversation with DS about this?  Or do we just suck it up again and say nothing?

Pros of talking to DS are --
Clear the air
Don't have to spend the next 30 years with the elephant in the room.
Perhaps there is an explanation for all the snubs the last 6 years?

Cons of talking to DS are ---
it drives him away from us.

I welcome all thoughts - MIL and DIL.  Thank you ladies. 

Offline Scoop

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Re: Re: The Talk
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2011, 12:37:30 PM »
Shelby, why do you expect DIL to do anything about DS's Gma's passing?

She's obviously of the opinion that it wasn't HER Gma, nor was it HER Gpa in the hospital.

I have to say that I feel the same way.  I wouldn't go and visit an opposite gender, elderly IL in the hospital without my DH.  When GMIL passes, I will encourage DH to go for the funeral and DD and I will go, if it's not too inconvenient.  But, I won't send flowers, nor make a donation, nor will I get a card or sign it.  It's none of my business.  If DH wants any of that done, he's welcome and I certainly won't stop him or hinder him.

And, this is coming from a place where I've had close family die, so I know the feeling of appreciated these gestures are.  Before I'd had anyone close to me die, I would not have known.

I don't know Shelby, I don't know why you're so angry at DIL over this.  If DS didn't step up, then that's HIS fault.  NOT HERS.

Offline alohomora

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Re: Re: The Talk
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2011, 12:39:44 PM »
Shelby - did your DS call/etc? If he did, perhaps they felt he was doing it on behalf of his family.

When my aunt was very ill (this aunt and uncle have a horrific relationship with their DIL) last year, my cousin would call almost daily for updates. After the scare passed, my aunt and uncle called their son and gave him an earful about his wife not calling herself.

When I visited them in the summer, my CIL was totally angry about this. She said she was often sitting next to her DH as he made the calls, asking for updates, etc, but b/c she wasn't 'close' with them, its not like he'd hand her the phone after he had finished talking so she could say something. Also she's not comfortable with these discussions. So its a tough one.

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Re: The Talk
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2011, 12:40:03 PM »
I think there is something to be said for a "later marriage" where the couple have more maturity and stability. No one can "break" a strong relationship between husband and wife…but/and…it takes time and work to build one, especially when you are young.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Shelby

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Re: Re: The Talk
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2011, 01:06:00 PM »
Scoop - when DIL's grandfather died, both DIL and DS took a few days off of work and drove 3-4 hours to attend the services.  DS had never even met this GF, but he went to show respect and caring - not just for his wife, but the rest of the family, including the widow of the GF that died and DS's MIL, who had lost her father.  By your argument, DS should have just sent DIL off by herself to attend GF services.  Instead he did what family members do - they participate.  They show concern not just for the person they sleep with, but for extended family members.   I think that to fail to show any concern - and thinking something like **it's none of my business and I won't do anything myself but I wont stop my husband from doing anything*** is very sad indeed.  Very sad.  These same grandparents took a much more loving approach when DIL and DS got married.  Paid for a bunch of the flowers that DIL had selected -- all to make a lovely evening for the young couple.   And when DIL's grandfather died, my DH and i sent cards and a donation to the memorial fund mentioned in the obituary.  We never met this GF - but we let the surviving family know we cared for them. 

So when they have a baby, do DH and I take position that it's not OUR baby, so no need to send a card or gift?  After all, when it wasn't HER GM who died, nothing.  I guess I should adopt the same attitude if and when there is a baby.  Hey, not our baby - don't expect anything from us?


Aloho - I can understand the CIL not wanting to have a phone conversation with them particularly if she is not close to them.  That's why a card is such a simple solution.  44 cents for the stamp, $1.99 for the card.  Hallmark writes the message, DIL only has to sign name and has done her duty..  I just think $2.43 to acknowledge a very major, very sad event in the life of her husbands family is not much to ask. 

So I take it you two DILs think it's unreasonable for anyone to expect DIL to participate in extending sympathy to family of DS. 

I daresay we'll have some other responses.  I sure hope so.

Offline lancaster lady

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Re: Re: The Talk
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2011, 01:20:14 PM »
shelby :

Did DS acknowledge his GM's passing either by phone or card or anything ?
Perhaps if didn't do any of these things she felt it wasn't her place , just a thought .
However common courtesy , I would have thought should warrant a simple card if nothing else . Especially as she knew
him .

In this case I would have had a go at my Ds for ignoring the death of a beloved Gm . I know some
men are lackadaisical  about family birthdays etc , however some respect was due in this case ,
and wasn't shown .
Why not get it out in the open , these things going round and round cause stress and are never resolved .
You have a good relationship with your DS , approach him and tell him how disappointed you are .

Doe

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Re: Re: The Talk
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2011, 01:25:56 PM »
For background, we have a chilly DIL,

Shelby, I think this is your answer.   From how you've described her, I think it would have been out of character if she had reached out.  I would take the lack of action on her part as just more confirmation of her indifference to your side of the family.   I think what you've gotten out of her in the past is what you'll get out of her in the future so your expectations can end there.  If DS disappointed you, talk to him and handle it, but I wouldn't bring up DIL.

However, don't let her lack of interest in your family determine how you'll act as a GM.  Just be yourself and let her be herself.   


Shelby

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Re: Re: The Talk
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2011, 01:28:31 PM »
Lancaster - yes DS did acknowledge GM passing.  When we were with GF, DS called DH's cell # so he could speak with him (no phone in nursing home room).  Plus DS was very good about visiting GF before he moved across the country. 

If my DH failed to call or send a card, you'd be darn sure I would, and make sure both names are signed.  In our 3 decades of marriage, there have been many occasions DH forgot - including on his side of the family - and I'd make sure that WE sent a card or otherwise acknowledged the event. 

I agree it is just a common courtesy. 

Thanks, Lancaster.  DH and i are discussing whether to surface this with DS.  And yes, we are deeply disappointed.  Not angry.  But deeply disappointed.

Shelby

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Re: Re: The Talk
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2011, 01:32:56 PM »
Oh, Doe - DS did not disappoint us - except in his choice of a wife.  We have tried until we are tired.  We only threw in the towel six months ago - after six years of trying only to get the cold shoulder.  Thank god they never lived with us.  I don't know how some of you take that. 

I don't care that they live a thousand miles away.  I just don't care anymore. 

Sassy

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Re: Re: The Talk
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2011, 01:43:37 PM »
If DS had mailed a card (to GF? to you and DH?) and signed both his and DIL's name, would that have covered it?

Shelby

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Re: Re: The Talk
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2011, 01:50:30 PM »
If DS had mailed a card (to GF? to you and DH?) and signed both his and DIL's name, would that have covered it?

That would have absolutely thrilled both DH and me.   :)

MoonChild

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Re: Re: The Talk
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2011, 02:06:41 PM »
Shelby – from the tone of your posts it seems that you have already taken a stance and nothing is going to change your mind, perhaps being a bit more open to how others are viewing situations would be key, perhaps you are too close/involved in this particular situation that you cannot see the other side. You seem to expect very specific things to happen in specific situations. I believe that in this situation if your DIL really did not react in a caring way your DS would say something; you seem to insist that because you and your DH did things one way during a similar situation that you expect the same to be reciprocated from her to you. I think you being upset because she didn’t send any message to YOU is a bit ridiculous, as long as she is warm and loving and supportive of her DH and your DS in this situation that is what matters. Not all DILs are quick to adopt their husband’s family as their own right off the bat, so perhaps she did not feel close to the one who passed, but I would assume she did console your DS over his loss in private and isn’t that what matters. Just because a woman may be ‘cold’ to others it doesn’t mean that she isn’t warm and loving in private with those she is close to and comfortable with. I believe I have stated in posts before that I do realize I tend to come off ‘standoffish’ with my FILs – FDH points it out all of the time – however he also knows that I am just trying to find my niche with his family as they tend to be quite different from mine; it is not that I do not like them, I just haven’t found my comfort level with them. 

Shelby

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Re: Re: The Talk
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2011, 02:18:25 PM »
I think you being upset because she didn’t send any message to YOU is a bit ridiculous, as long as she is warm and loving and supportive of her DH and your DS in this situation that is what matters. Not all DILs are quick to adopt their husband’s family as their own right off the bat, so perhaps she did not feel close to the one who passed, but I would assume she did console your DS over his loss in private and isn’t that what matters. Just because a woman may be ‘cold’ to others it doesn’t mean that she isn’t warm and loving in private with those she is close to and comfortable with. . . . . .  it is not that I do not like them, I just haven’t found my comfort level with them. 

Moon - I am not upset she did not send any message to ME.  I am deeply saddened there was no message of concern to either my FIL, who lost a wife, or my DH, who lost a mother.  I do not consider my reaction to be ridiculous, and frankly resent such name-calling from you. 

I too assume she consoled DS - but that is NOT the ONLY thing that matters - as he is not the only one who suffered a loss. 

No, not all DILs are quick to adopt their husband's families - but an awful lot of them are quick to borrow cars, ask for favors, even MOVE IN, for heaven's sake.  If a DIL can do any of those, a little note and a 44 cent stamp isn't much in return. 

And I don't think it takes much of a comfort level to exhibit the common courtesy of sending condolences. 

Who was it that said - on another thread - that there is a great divide?   Wow


Offline luise.volta

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Re: Re: The Talk
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2011, 02:30:35 PM »
Just interjecting here that we offer our points of view rather than judging anyone. If we can stick the the "I" statements and stay away from the "You" ones…that's what works best. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline pam1

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Re: Re: The Talk
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2011, 02:48:12 PM »
If DS had mailed a card (to GF? to you and DH?) and signed both his and DIL's name, would that have covered it?

That would have absolutely thrilled both DH and me.   :)

So there it is.  DS fell down on the job.  My question is why are you (as it seems, perhaps I'm wrong) more upset with DIL? 

I think it's nice you did things for your DH when he forgot.  But times are changing in this area, women generally do not go into marriages to be the social secretary.  I'm not saying whether it's right or wrong, that's another topic, it is what is now.

However, now that this is how it is the ball was clearly in your DS lap and he dropped it.  Directing your disappointment/upset towards DIL seems counter-productive.  I can't even think of a plausible solution to having a conversation about this with either your DS or DIL (regarding why DIL didn't acknowledge the death.)

When a more productive conversation would be why DS did not. 
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift