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how to step aside

Started by stilltrying2010, November 11, 2011, 02:32:01 pm

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I have been on this board before but not for some time.  I actually have been seeing a counsellor regarding my inlaws and learned some things about myself and my expectations.  I know and accept the fact that my inlaws tolerate me but do not "like" me, which is ok because the feeling is mutual.  However, I am unsure of how I am supposed to "step aside" so my daughters can have a relationship with their grandma when I am the only person doing anything.  Don't get me wrong, my MIL did send our daughter a birthday gift & christmas presents but she has virtually no contact with them at any other time.  The other day MIL called me while DD was at school & my husband at work so she could find out what they want for christmas.  OK - so I should put the husbands/daughters needs above my own and tell her what they want... but it feels more like I am being used.  She isn't doing the wk of a relationship but will be the hero for getting exactly what DD wants?  In putting my kids/husband first I tell her what they are wanting/needing.  Am I just fighting accepting the situation?  I really didn't realize I was still trying so hard to get them to accept me (after being married 7yrs!)  I am feeling like I am "framing things positively" to fool myself into accepting her unacceptable behavior.  Am I just resisting? When I tried to talk about MIL when she called it was the same old bs I say something about my DD, "Oh Fav Grandson does that too he blahblahblah"  I commend our DD on her reading & homework "Oh Other granddaughter has a ton of work probably because she doesn't do anything in school blahblahblah".  Everytime it is insults or compliments to OTHER grandkids, not ours who she cannot see because we live far away.  I am not comfortable "stepping aside so MIL can have access to our daughter as I don't want her to hear the constant compliments/criticisms of other people.  I don't think the world has to revolve around our kids but she could at least feign interest....  anyway, looking for thoughts on this and wondering where to go from here.


stilltrying, good on you for going to a counselor to talk things out.

My initial thought is why is she calling *you* to find out what DD/DH wants.  In those types of situations I would direct her to DH or tell her anything she gives will be appreciated. 

As a disclaimer, I don't understand the purpose of this at all -- I was brought up to believe you give someone a gift that you thought they'd like, the whole purpose of the gift is not what it is but the meaning behind it.  So in your case, I would take it as the meaning behind MILs gifts are not her meanings, they are yours and she's taking credit for it.  But enough of that rant lol

The comparing of the other grandchildren is annoying, I'm not sure what you can do.  Maybe pause for a really long time after she brings up other gks while you're talking about your own?  Ignore?  I think while it's annoying, it's probably a habit that she doesn't intend to hurt you with. 
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


I agree that you should turn this job over to your husband.  It sounds like you've tried to make this into a working relationship and it's just not happening.  Let him be the spokesperson for your family to his FOO and back the other way. 

As far as the way she talks about the family, I think you may just have to recognize that's what's she's going to do and drop any expectation that she'll change.  Sometimes when people don't behave like I'm expecting them to,  it just increases the upset: what they did + the fact that I expected them not to do it makes it worse. 


Wow! I know what you are going through. I have thought about seeing a counselor but I haven't gone through with it. My relationship with my ILs is non-existent, no contact whatsoever. They don't send grandkids or DH or I anything; no cards, no presents. But I still keep trying. I try to email about once a year, but it always gets thrown back in my face. Either way, I'm proud of you for taking the steps you needed to take to move on. Don't let her use you; however, if your hubby is like mine, he doesn't seem to care either way. It's a crazy situation that makes life miserable for everyone involved. Hugs to you!