Author Topic: How to deal with DIL's b'day or other events?  (Read 7381 times)

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renny97

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How to deal with DIL's b'day or other events?
« on: February 21, 2010, 08:25:20 AM »
After much support and gained confidence from you all, I was wondering how I deal with DIL's upcoming b'day next month and future events?

I planned on sending a card and gift card just to acknowledge. But, what do I do when invited to GC's b'day parties? My only sanity, is being completely away from her family. But, I know, it will start a further "chain" of hate by all. I cannot change or help that they don't consider a GC's birthday sacred and continue to use it as a means to verbally attack me with name-calling.

This is first DIL's b'day since I just gave card last year [late]. That created such an uproar from her family, that ultimately, brought me to say something about their treatment of me to son. I realize, the card issue, gave them "reasons" in their "minds" to justify their continual verbal abuse. In other words, I kinda helped them out. But, knowing they will do whatever they please, anyway. I think, now, it was the beginning for me (whether I really realized it or not), to bring me to reality.

It was probably not adult, to send late card, but I was reacting from years of hurt. I would almost be in tears after every b'day or holiday. Many times, I would say I wasn't feeling well and had to leave...(not too far from truth). Once, I was in their house, and the fake greetings were exchanged, then, it wouldn't be long before their insults would "fly."

They loved it, when I was out of work for awhile. I took a part-time job, to get by. They wouldn't even say, "hello" before asking, "Got a job yet?" Even on my b'day. And, then they would chuckle. Ah, we "gotcha." We are "perfect." I am man, and I retired early and live off wife. Good for you.

So, will it be just sending cards? If DIL and GC never visit, how bad should I feel? That seems to be okay?


Carmexx

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Re: How to deal with DIL's b'day or other events?
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2010, 08:35:46 AM »
Renny,

These people sound plain crazy! They actually berate you verbally?

My MIL leaves early from my family functions as well and makes any excuse not to go, but my family is so nice to her, and are generally fun and outgoing all the time. My mom is a saint and is always trying to get my MIL gifts and take pictures with her and my sister's MIL as well. I'm not sure why she doesn't even like being around my parents.

I know others who know your story better can give you more advice, but I just want you to know that I'm sending good thoughts your way so that you can figure out exactly what you need to do. Sorry to hear that you are treated poorly.

renny97

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Re: How to deal with DIL's b'day or other events?
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2010, 08:49:54 AM »
Yes, Carmexx, that is the norm.

They do what "appears" as procedurely correct; cards, loving family, and church. Meanwhile, they are so domineering, call me names, and whisper from DIL, she would give me a "big shove down the stairs." That was "supposed" to be a joke (after I finally told son). My thought is why did she feel she had to whisper a "joke"? So, this is my first stance against years of this. I would literally say, "Hail, Mary" before I went into their house. It was sooo upsetting. I tried to be civil to her family for my GC's sake, but she was overhearing and repeating some of their "spew" and I could see a change in her, too. We were so close before.

Then, they all rallied around me being late with card for DIL's b'day. Not that they ever "needed" a reason!  It seemed to escalate after that...and I will not tolerate any of that for any reason now.

But, if GC are being trained to hate, then, nothing I can do. Since her family likes to "joke" at other's expense, so much.

cocobars

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Re: How to deal with DIL's b'day or other events?
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2010, 08:56:04 AM »
Renny, I'm not an expert, but if it were me I would do just what I felt comfortable with.  If you want to go, you can always make it brief, and if or when things start getting insulting - it's just time for you to leave.  You have other things to do that you enjoy and you don't enjoy being treated that way.  You are there for the baby's birthday.  That's all! 

Maybe if they saw that you didn't stay and take that treatment it would help.  Who knows how people like that think?

I think you've come a very long way!  You're going to have doubts and things are always going to pop up and hurt you occasionally.  You just be strong and loving and no matter what - when you get home you will feel so good about yourself!  That's when you need a pat on the back!  A big one!  You are strong enough to be loving and show up in the face of all that stress, but respectful enough of yourself to know when to leave.  Because ultimately, you don't deserve that treatment - so I look at that as the "welcome mat being withdrawn."  Oops, it time to go. 

Reward yourself when you get home - no matter what happens...  You are showing strength in yourself by going and that's big!  By reward I mean do something special that you like - make yourself a cup of coffee - or better yet, treat yourself to a cup of starbucks and sit down to enjoy the environment at the starbucks.  Look into the mirror, in your own eyes and look very deeply.  I think you will appreciate who's looking back!  What a beautiful woman!!  The eyes are the windows to the soul.  Another reward - come back and write a post here about it - let us support you and listen to what we think of you.  We may not have known you long, but we understand you and what you are dealing with! 

You be strong Renny!  It's up to you what you do, and any decision you make is a step to seeing that beautiful soul reflecting back in your mirror at home, or us - your mirror here!
« Last Edit: February 21, 2010, 09:05:18 AM by cocobars »

renny97

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Re: How to deal with DIL's b'day or other events?
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2010, 09:44:35 AM »
Thank you, both.

I tried leaving early. I confess, once I practically bolted. They are relentless. I was so upset going into the house, then, there was so much bad said, I just told son, "I gotta go." One SIL, said, "Oh, look, she didn't even eat anything." No kidding. I was thinking, "Oh geez, no manners again." (It was several of them, making comments--and I had been there I think an hour--so, I made my exit. They hate me. Plain and simple.

One GC's b'day isn't until late summer, so if no one can come to visit me until then, that will be an indicator. With DIL's b'day, a card and gift card, will have to do. No need for me to do more. Maybe get her a bungee cord, so whenever she feels the urge to shove, we can both go. Geez. Maybe whisper, "I didn't get you a card." Since we are "joking." Yeah, a bit bitter. It comes and goes.

Offline Pen

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Re: How to deal with DIL's b'day or other events?
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2010, 10:08:50 AM »
Oh boy. Who knew something that should be sweet, loving and fun like a family birthday or other celebration could turn into such a mine field? Although my experiences are a little different than yours, Renny, I feel your hurt, frustration and pain. Your ILs are off the charts mean and rude! You do not deserve this treatment!

Good point about treating ourselves after a day with ILs who devalue us, Coco. I was going to say "Too bad we can't all meet for coffee or something somewhere," but we can! Right here!
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

cocobars

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Re: How to deal with DIL's b'day or other events?
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2010, 10:12:21 AM »
Yes Pen!  We can meet right here!  Grab your coffee and set a time!  LOL!

Renny, whatever you decide to do is your choice.  I just can't tell you what to do with people like that attacking you.  It takes a strong human being to endure ridicule, and sometimes the best thing for your own self preservation is to send a card.  It's obvious they have no respect for you, so it's up to you to have that respect for yourself!

We are not going anywhere and will be right here for you, Renny! 
« Last Edit: February 21, 2010, 10:30:51 AM by cocobars »

renny97

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Re: How to deal with DIL's b'day or other events?
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2010, 10:42:19 PM »
Ya, Pents. My whole focus when I was driving to GC's house, was being so happy to see them. Then, knowing, I will be picked on not long after I am in the house. I've tried just being quiet and simple answers. I tried keeping busy talking to all the kids. Her parents cannot say anything pleasant, they are so sarcastic. They really believe they are funny. Her mother calls a neighbor a piece of ****. Unreal. And, I am the one being eliminated here. I am not a saint, but other than missing DIL's b'day last year and giving a card late, was only thing that I wouldn't normally do.

I just couldn't take anymore. I still haven't and will not ever tell son about something she said to me on the phone pre-GC. I think because DIL and me never got along....I think when she went overboard recently, that, did change things for me. Resentment.

Something Creme wrote in another topic about a DIL's background, really made me believe that that is the whole key here. I see my DIL physically standing there, but it is her upbringing that I am looking at. So, it is really like me trying to get along with her parents/baggage. And, if she wasn't able to--then, how can I? I somehow "told" myself that DIL was different from them. But, she is not. It seems more clear now.. I thought she'd outgrow and see some of their ways. Nope. And, getting worse.

Offline Barbie

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Re: How to deal with DIL's b'day or other events?
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2010, 07:42:50 AM »
Renny, I totally understand where you're coming from. Our DIL's family and us have nothing in common, it's pure torture to have to spend a couple of hours with them, they don't talk about us to our faces but DS told me once they do talk about us and we try to be civil but the mutual dislike is very apparent. At the beginning I thought DIL was different than her family but as much as she has tried to better herself she's still very much her mother's daughter and our GD is being exposed to this type of behavior which is one of the reasons I'm so afraid to get too close to her. Do what you feel is right. I was already suffering thinking we're going to have to spend time together with DIL's family on our GD's b'day in Sept. but have decided we'll be there for our GD.
Be happy with yourself and whatever decisions you make, don't worry about what others think and yes, reward yourself after having to put up with such abuse.

Offline Scoop

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Re: How to deal with DIL's b'day or other events?
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2010, 09:50:59 AM »
I've been thinking about this all morning.  Here's what *I* would do:  I would get DIL a generic type birthday card and a gift card of the same value that you spend on your son.  If you're invited to their house and her family is there, bring a small notebook and pen, and when they say something snarky, whip out your notebook and calmly say "Pardon me? What did you say?" and write down what they said. 

Often bullies like that don't want to repeat their rude comments, they will backpedal right away.  If they ask why you're writing their words down, calmly say something like "Oh you guys are always so witty, I want to try and remember the witty things you say, so I can start saying them back and be just as witty as you all."  Of course, in your head, you will be thinking "sh!tty" instead of "witty", but as long as you SAY "witty" - you're okay.  HA! And to drive the point home, you can follow up with "I don't know if I can pull it off though, maybe I'm just not as witty as you."

And if they fuss about that, then you know that their intentions are not good.  If they are actually joking and mean what they say jokingly, then how could they ever mind that you say the same things to them?

Then come and post what they said here and we'll let discuss it.


2chickiebaby

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Re: How to deal with DIL's b'day or other events?
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2010, 09:58:47 AM »
HA~~ that is one of the funniest and most unique thing I've ever heard.....HAHAHAHA

sadat46

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Re: How to deal with DIL's b'day or other events?
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2010, 10:26:47 AM »
Ha that is pretty funny and sounds like a really good idea.  I will have to make a note of that if that ever happens to me. 

cocobars

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Re: How to deal with DIL's b'day or other events?
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2010, 12:16:13 PM »
I've been thinking about this all morning.  Here's what *I* would do:  I would get DIL a generic type birthday card and a gift card of the same value that you spend on your son.  If you're invited to their house and her family is there, bring a small notebook and pen, and when they say something snarky, whip out your notebook and calmly say "Pardon me? What did you say?" and write down what they said. 

Often bullies like that don't want to repeat their rude comments, they will backpedal right away.  If they ask why you're writing their words down, calmly say something like "Oh you guys are always so witty, I want to try and remember the witty things you say, so I can start saying them back and be just as witty as you all."  Of course, in your head, you will be thinking "sh!tty" instead of "witty", but as long as you SAY "witty" - you're okay.  HA! And to drive the point home, you can follow up with "I don't know if I can pull it off though, maybe I'm just not as witty as you."

And if they fuss about that, then you know that their intentions are not good.  If they are actually joking and mean what they say jokingly, then how could they ever mind that you say the same things to them?

Then come and post what they said here and we'll let discuss it.
This is actually a very smart idea amoung IL's.  If they really intended no harm, they wouldn't question their words being written down...

renny97

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Re: How to deal with DIL's b'day or other events?
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2010, 12:30:04 PM »
Thank you so much, Scoop! Really brilliant! See, we can all work together here.

I think that would take away most of the fear in even going to their house. I would feel power again. Especially, because I love to write, communicate, and compose. It would be more natural for me, than taking a hidden recorder. As you say, bullies don't like things brought out in the open. That is why they whisper and do subtle manipulation.

You got it!

I had a friend that used to complain that these women would get together and talk about her husband all the time and ask her nosy questions. She asked me what to do. I said when they start their round of questioning the next time, tell them, "excuse me" if you have questions regarding my husband--let me go and bring him over so he can answer them! Then, proceed to yell in the middle of the room..."Oh (his name)!" "Can you please come over here and answer all these questions. They want to know all about you. I figured you can speak for yourself." Then, walk away. Bingo!

But, I think you have begun an interesting thought. Bring it out in the open and right now. Thank you.

cocobars

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Re: How to deal with DIL's b'day or other events?
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2010, 12:53:46 PM »
Well, you don't really want to stoop to their level, right?  That was too funny though!  And a very good thought.  I think the only thing that would make me stop is the thought of being on the same side.  The side of the bully - someone who takes pleasure in making someone else feel little.  I don't really want to make someone feel little,  I just would like for them to think...

Right?