Author Topic: One down, one to go!  (Read 2818 times)

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Offline tryingmybest

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One down, one to go!
« on: November 26, 2011, 06:08:15 AM »
  Well I'm sitting here drinking a cup of coffee and happy to be halfway through the holiday season. DS and DIL did Thanksgiving with us Friday, after of course being with her FOO for the day, the way it will always be. We 'LL get Christmas Eve, so...well you know. And I know I don't have anything to complain about, just need to handle my anger at being clearly - less important.
  If they were bonding as a couple I would be okay, my son is just getting sucked into her family and I'm so not okay with that. I'm okay with my DIL, but I am furious with her mother, it feels like SHE's stealing my son. She has just made it clear that her traditions MUST continue unchanged. She is kind of a scary controlling demanding woman, no one challenges her.  :o.
  if children come into the mix, this is going to get really tough. Well anyway Happy Relaxgiving, and thanks for being here. " Detach with love"... Going to make a t-shirt!

Offline Begonia

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Re: One down, one to go!
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2011, 06:51:53 AM »
hello TMB:  You Say:

I don't have anything to complain about, just need to handle my anger at being clearly - less important.

I think that is the key, to learn to accept things that are out of our control without letting the anger take us over.  As someone who has struggled with my DS MIL issues and my DIL's issues over the years and feeling so angry so many times I think I have made progress.  The progress happened because, like you mention, I "detached with love." 

Last summer I got to a place where who did what when and with what family ceased to affect me because I started planning my life without my DS and DD.  Forward to this holiday. Surprise!! I was invited to my DD and DSister but declined and I thought they would be mad but my cat got sick so she rescued me from getting tangled in excuses.  It's too soon after our estrangement for me to be "stuck" five hours from home if things go wrong with DD.

Then my son stopped to have lunch with me on his way to help his MIL move....(get this: he was not even spending Thanksgiving with his DW and children because he was going to help the (pathetic, IMHO) MIL.).  I know it is to keep peace with his DW.  So when he started talking about MIL problems I switched the conversation every time.  One time I said, "Let's talk about something fun."  I did slip up once when DS said, "she has nobody to help her."  I said, "Well, you know, some people like to be a victim."  Then I caught myself.  Oooops.  But I had my DS all to myself and we laughed and had a great time.  He even brought presents for me that the GK had wrapped.  DIL had even shopped for lovely things for me!!!  Wowwwweeee!  I will send a lovely thank you.

So the detachment is working, but now my family is reaching out and I am being very careful about being the same overbearing and overloving person that I used to be. I am detached.  I did call DD and Dsister on Thanksgiving, they were so happy to talk!!  I had just seen DS and was not going to call him at MILs!!  But a note from him saying he got back home just fine, so that is another FIRST...

Detachment is hard work, and just letting things unfold without expectations is also hard work.  For now this seems to be working.  I need to apply this same formula to Christmas.  Good luck to you TMB...I believe you are equally important to your son but I think this is how it happens when they are with DW.  Hang in there....
Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, Today is a gift (Eleanor Roosevelt)

Offline Pen

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Re: One down, one to go!
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2011, 07:32:47 AM »
Wow, TMB, I could have written your post! I try to be grateful for what little time I have w/DS, but something doesn't feel right. This T'day DS seemed even more engulfed by DIL's FOO; it was obvious that his focus is on them and not on his FOO. He's not interested in discussing anything but them and their expensive stuff. We were a duty call, nothing more. It's heartbreaking and painful.

Hey, at least I've stopped sobbing and have moved on to occasionally tearing up. DH didn't know what to do T'giving night, poor guy. On to Christmas  :P

Begonia, I'm glad your detachment is working out for you & that you had a good visit w/your DS. How nice of DIL to send gifts! And a note about arriving safely home is very considerate. Yay!
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Shelby

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Re: One down, one to go!
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2011, 08:32:16 AM »
This T'day DS seemed even more engulfed by DIL's FOO; it was obvious that his focus is on them and not on his FOO. He's not interested in discussing anything but them and their expensive stuff. We were a duty call, nothing more. It's heartbreaking and painful.


Pen - my heart goes out to you, with your son blinded by what you know to be superficial, meaningless values.  I recently read a column by David Brooks - about the Haimish Line - Just Google -  David Brooks Haimish Line  -- and you'll find the column he wrote a couple of months ago.  It's about how the more expensive things and experiences are rarely the ones that are the most memorable or enjoyable.   No, it won't change your son - but it might validate you and your values.  And make you feel better that somebody like David Brooks understands and agrees with you.   My only wish is that your son comes to understand these things eventually.  I suspect he will - although it may take years.  But you raised him right - the seeds are there.  They will grow again someday. 

Shelby

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Re: One down, one to go!
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2011, 08:37:08 AM »
 
  If they were bonding as a couple I would be okay


Trying - so if they're not bonding as a couple?  Maybe not a permanent situation?  Good for you for detaching - then let the chips fall where they may. 

And thanks for your support and thoughtful comments on a previous thread.  I deeply appreciated your understanding and support - just was too raw to post back for a while.  Take care of yourself. 

Doe

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Re: One down, one to go!
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2011, 08:48:41 AM »
She is kind of a scary controlling demanding woman, no one challenges her.  :o.
 

LOL - just knowing this would entice me to become her nemesis somehow....    8) (looking for the evil grin face)

Offline Pen

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Re: One down, one to go!
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2011, 10:32:32 AM »
 
  If they were bonding as a couple I would be okay


Trying - so if they're not bonding as a couple?  Maybe not a permanent situation?  Good for you for detaching - then let the chips fall where they may. 

And thanks for your support and thoughtful comments on a previous thread.  I deeply appreciated your understanding and support - just was too raw to post back for a while.  Take care of yourself.

I think Trying meant that it wouldn't be as hurtful if DS & DIL took holiday time apart from both FOOs to bond, not that they weren't bonding at all. Please correct me if I'm wrong, Trying! I feel the same; if my DS & DIL were building their own traditions, being apart would be the natural way of things. The pain comes from knowing DS is now spending time with a shiny, new family and is forgetting about his dull, old FOO.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline luise.volta

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Re: One down, one to go!
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2011, 10:41:27 AM »
Remember…"less important" is a value judgment. It originates in another and has absolutely nothing to do with you. If, however, you were taught that you were "less important" when you were growing up, it may have been internalized. If so, there may be a place in you that agrees. That is about you and we can do something about what is "ours." It may be a long and arduous task but we can heal the misinformation given us. Right here and WWU, right now is a good place to start.

It is so sad to hear about the rigid MIL who reigns supreme. She is, of course, the most insecure person on the planet and has nothing but her biological history to define her. No wonder she will fight to the death to defend it.

What besotted young man in going to be able to put his foot down and say, "Not in my house." He is sometimes so besotted that he doesn't even know it's his house. It sure looks like it has somehow become "Her House"…without much of a democratic process. Old alliances fade away when the present  looms to such a degree. Besotted morphs into "Where do my mom and dad fit into all of this?" And often what follows that is a whimper…"Oops…just thought I'd ask…please don't stop being cuddly and sweet. I am really hooked on cuddly and sweet."

See? We are back to besotted. Sometimes it lasts a lifetime. Other times it fades into…"Yes, dear."

Look back to where we started. A young guy, inexperienced, full of hope and wonder…never for a second willing to even consider betraying the love and trust he feels toward his family of origin. Never.

There are endless variations of this saga. There is the stereotypical MIL who brings her DIL to her knees  on contact and never lets her get up.  And we know about the DIL who says she is now the big cheese and no MIL on either side dare whisper…"Why? What for?"

In each case and in all of the ones not described…someone took over and a reign of terror commenced. (Occasionally, oh, so lovingly.) In each case, whether war was openly declared or insidious, someone wasn't challenged and stopped. The consequences of even thinking about stopping her melted the options into a puddle of fear that became a lake and then an ocean.

We don't study Conflict Resolution 101. It's not a required course, it isn't even on the list of subjects offered. We just don't know how. And "they" count on that. There are endless "they(s)." Look around.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline tryingmybest

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Re: One down, one to go!
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2011, 11:56:22 AM »
@Penn and Shelby, both right ladies!  it would hurt a lot less if DS and DIL were starting their own holiday traditions, they're not, just going on with hers. but the bonding as a couple isn't happening either, they spend every weekend with her family! 12 hours on Thanksgiving, Friday with us, now it's back to her FOO. Every Sunday there is the required Sunday dinner. I was always concerned that DIL didn't seem to have any friends... Now they have no couple friends and if it's not work they are with her family going to this endless list of required traditions. My son looks so stressed out, it breaks my heart. The DIL's family has money and my DIL has very high expectations. Her family isn't giving them things, just making it clear it's my son' responsibity to provide them. I get the feeling that she ' s whittling away at his self esteem, because at this point he can't. Add to that the constant emeshment with her family and all that she left behind to marry him, and I'm scared for my kid.
And Luise you are very perceptive, I grew up with the constant message that I was less important, and have spent years working hard to turn that around, but the buttons are still there and getting pushed big time!
  :P



Offline tryingmybest

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Re: One down, one to go!
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2011, 12:00:18 PM »
Begonia I'm glad to see the approach works, it's keeping me going. Doe, I got in trouble with DH at the wedding for humming the theme from "Jaws" when the MIL walked into the reception. I hope I can keep from taking her on, but I wouldn't make book on it!  ::)

Offline Pen

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Re: One down, one to go!
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2011, 12:34:47 PM »
Luise, how true that we don't have to buy into another's value judgement. I understand what you are saying about learning to value ourselves. Sometimes, though, I think we're talking about our relationships being seen as "less important" rather than feeling devalued ourselves.

IMO, when the value of "less important" is placed on a person, animal, plant or object, that judgement affects the treatment of it. That's why we put landfills in the "barren" desert instead of on the beaches of Malibu, and why we trap rodents but cuddle poodles. The rodents don't buy in to that value judgement (as far as anyone knows), but they are certainly affected by it. My issue regarding being seen as "less important" by DS, DIL & DIL's FOO has more to do with how that judgement affects my treatment by them, and less about my valuing or devaluing myself.

On any of the millions of TV shows about getting organized, one of the main points about clutter and hoarding is that if you truly value something you won't let it rot or rust out in the garage. You would care for it, cherish it, and maintain it properly. What my DS and DIL think about me doesn't determine how I see myself, but what they think about our relationship is going to determine whether it rusts out in a shed somewhere or is dusted off regularly and put in a place of honor in their lives.

Whoa, deep thinking going on here. Must be all the pie :)

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

Offline luise.volta

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Re: One down, one to go!
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2011, 12:53:28 PM »
Yes, judgment inspires conduct, no contest. My experience is that I thought it was rational thought and believed it was deserved.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline lancaster lady

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Re: One down, one to go!
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2011, 02:30:14 PM »
We don't have a TG celebration , so have nothing to complain about except .................
Go back 12 months when I wasn't getting to see my GD , lots of excuses buy mainly the weather .
Here we are again , winter , no snow just rain and wind !
Speaking to my DS yesterday on msngr ,'' we'll drop by this weekend for some more stuff .....will confirm after talking to
DW .''
Today he texts me , '' will wait and seee how the weather is tomorrow to see if we are  coming !''
Now I hate to even think this BUT is this a case of ''here we go again ?''
My DSister who is elderly and disabled came to see me today . she lives 20 miles away , he lives 30 !
If she can brave the harsh weather (not ) , why can't they ?

I was ever hopeful of a change for the better , and I hope I am wrong .
They have had the money for the wedding , they lived here free for 5 months , they obviously
don't need to keep up the pretence any longer !
We will wait and see how this progresses . If Mohammed won't come to the mountain , then the mountain
must come to Mohammed !  My GD and I deserve better , our friendship means more to me
than petty contests of authority !

Doe

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Re: One down, one to go!
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2011, 02:54:10 PM »
Begonia I'm glad to see the approach works, it's keeping me going. Doe, I got in trouble with DH at the wedding for humming the theme from "Jaws" when the MIL walked into the reception. I hope I can keep from taking her on, but I wouldn't make book on it!  ::)
;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D   If you can laugh at her, I think you have her beat!!

Offline Pen

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Re: One down, one to go!
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2011, 10:04:54 PM »
LL, sending good thoughts your way. I hope all goes as planned.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb