Author Topic: controlling sil  (Read 5532 times)

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Offline artlady

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controlling sil
« on: February 11, 2012, 07:22:34 AM »
We have been just devastated by how much this sil has changed from prior to wedding 10/11 to now. They dated for 5 years prior, he was very quiet at first but then opened up and seemed to fit right in. Everything was fine until we had a school mascot come to reception to dance with daughter( we couldn't get his school to come as we wanted them to dance with each other) He got so mad at the reception , husband tried to apologize then and at Thanksgiving he was not accepting to it . He has avoided visits except for holidays and acts distance. If we don't kiss his feet or cuddle him like all his fine he will complain to her that we don't' like him , avoid him etc. So he is the victim and we are the bad guys. We are very easy going loving folks and haven't done anyting to rock his boat since . Now they just had a baby , they didn't call to let us know they were on the way , she called me afterwards and I knew we wouldn't as he had said "that will be up for discussion" ( a favorite phrase of his) .  I was devastated she didn't call but not  shock as she only calls me when on the way home from work or in the car running errands ever since the wedding no more talking to me in front of him at home . He has never thanked us for the wedding and his parents did nothing ( his mom died 11 years ago so there is the step mother problem there along with all kinds of discconnect between him , dad and brother). It was not hard to tell he didn't want us at the hospital he was cold , his rude commnets etc but yet he wanted to know why he was being avoided. Now we are just crushed. WE aer very close to our daughter but feel he is doing his best to pull her apart from her family. he wants her to quit work , she has a good job and I hope not . He is a research electrical engineer, so lots of traits of engineers are there for sure . We have been so upset and concerned since the wedding ( not really healed from that ) and now this that we are now going to counseling to see how and what to do . Celebrations with him are not happy but painful.  Please let me know if anyone has something close to this and how you handled it .

Doe

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Re: controlling sil
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2012, 07:57:37 AM »
Hi Artlady-

I have a hard to please DIL and put much of the blame on her for a difficult relationship.  I've come to see, though, that how my son behaves is a larger part of the picture.  I think sons and daughters set the tone for how their own families are treated.  That's what I've realized for myself.

I know it's hard to see our children pull away and act differently from what we expect - especially the ones we were close to as they were growing up.  The solution for me has been to pull myself away and turn my attention back to my own life.  It doesn't sound like this SIL wants to improve the situation. If that's the case, there isn't much you can do but you can decide to not turn over the reins of your happiness to him.

If you stick around here, you'll get a lot of encouragement.

Offline luise.volta

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Re: controlling sil
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2012, 08:06:08 AM »
My guess is that he was looking for an excuse and found one with the mascot at the reception (taking her away from him?) If it was a surprise, it may have been a serious mistake when you couldn't find one from his school, so the mascots could dance together. Best to have given up the idea at that juncture…but it's water under the bridge, now. Had that not happened, I think he would probably have found something else. He's evidencing a lot of insecurity. She picked him and that's how he is. You can't change that and it's for them to work out, or not. We have expectations involving our AC that often don't get met. You probably would have wanted someone different for her than he is turning out to be. I certainly would. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline JaneF

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Re: controlling sil
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2012, 08:31:12 AM »
What an uncomfortable situation huh?  That seems to be another common thread with folks who come to this web site!  I agree with Luise.  He was possibly looking for an excuse, and if it hadn't been the mascot thing it would have been another.  I understand the hospital since all too well.  My own DIL and her family made me feel like an outcast at the birth of my first grandchild, even though my own son wanted me to be there.  Such is life.  It doesn't sound like the situation is going to change any time soon for you.  I have found there are just some people that are (for lack of a better term) just plain weird and hard to get along with!  My DIL is one.  No matter what you do or don't do, say or don't say...they are cold and unfriendly and rude.  I personally like to be friendly and outgoing, and kind to others.  If I were in your shoes I think I'd just avoid him totally, and if she can only talk to you when out of his range of hearing...then SHE has the problem!  If I were her I'd tell him I'll speak to who ever I want and would NOT hide to talk to anyone. Ridiculous. Childish.  He needs to put on his big boy pants and grow up.  If he has issues within his own family (stepmom, siblings), then he needs to address them and get over it.  I am sorry if that sounds mean, but it is so sad reading day after day on here how so many of us are just treated like trash or like we are just not wanted.  About one more issue with my DIL and quite frankly I don't care if there is ever a relationship or not...I refuse to walk on tiptoe like I'm walking on egg shells around her.  She puts her pants on same way I put mine on!  Same for the fella in your post, and I guess maybe I have gotten a bit TOO strong so I'd tell him what I thought!  lol  Hope there is a solution for you soon, one never can tell.  J

Offline artlady

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Re: controlling sil
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2012, 08:43:14 AM »
So glad I found this site as I've been researching for all of this . Our grandson is just a week and a half old ,so it is so hard and our first. SIL doesn't have the family background of closeness that daughter was raised in but I think she is one that feels she can fix things ( gets that from me ) and help others all the time . I feel he is getting what he wants if we stay away but dont' feel comfortable being there too much. I did go this week to see her duringthe day as he went back to work but he did come home from lunch, never acknowledged me nor spoke directly to me . So all in all celebrations with him are painful . Counselor told us those personalities are drawn to engineering and they don't have empathy for others, no sense of humor, socially inept , controlling and manipulative ( etc can't remember them all) . WE told her we have been as nice as we could to him and she said that doesn't work with them as they don't have those emotions and it is more threatening to him. The school mascot was a bit hit by everyone but him, our daughter loved it. We thought about telling him since his school coulnd't come but then didn't know if he would tell her and spoil the surprise. It is hard as we are the ones that have to reach out to him and the whole family has to make sure he is happy so now it is all about him and the rest of the family is left out it seems. This is just not fair to all of the family he is not the only one in the family.  So glad i can chat with others as seeing the counselor has been one time and not again till Feb 21 but we can't afford to do it for long as co pay is not cheap. All of our friends say we don't need the counseling but we do so we can move on past the pain and deal with life .

Offline artlady

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Re: controlling sil
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2012, 08:53:35 AM »
My guess is that he was looking for an excuse and found one with the mascot at the reception (taking her away from him?) If it was a surprise, it may have been a serious mistake when you couldn't find one from his school, so the mascots could dance together. Best to have given up the idea at that juncture…but it's water under the bridge, now. Had that not happened, I think he would probably have found something else. He's evidencing a lot of insecurity. She picked him and that's how he is. You can't change that and it's for them to work out, or not. We have expectations involving our AC that often don't get met. You probably would have wanted someone different for her than he is turning out to be. I certainly would. Sending love...                                Thanks so much for listening and so glad i can vent , ask and feel better through others who might have experienced this   

Doe

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Re: controlling sil
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2012, 11:41:29 AM »
I don't think labeling a person by his profession is going to be helpful.  It's a little like saying, "all blondes are ___".  I've only known a couple of engineers but they don't fit the stereotype that you offered here.  It's an easy out to generalize about people, but I don't think you'll find good answers there. 

Offline Ruth

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Re: controlling sil
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2012, 01:42:02 PM »
I agree of course Doe, but at the same time I have to say that the counselor just pegged my own DS to a T, and he's also an engineer (physicist).  Having had years of experience with this personality type, Artlady, I still don't have the foggiest of how to create a warm easy relationship with him.  I am amazed and encouraged that your DD obviously sees something in him that she loves and admires.  I am always hoping that my DS with someday find a woman to whom he's able to give and receive love.  I have learned that one critical issue with my DS is respect and distance.  This is mainly what works best and I don't ever hold out any expectations from him, except respect.  If you can cultivate this with SIL, you will have accomplished something, and can then I truly hope enjoy your grandchild and be a close part of his life. 

Offline artlady

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Re: controlling sil
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2012, 03:45:27 PM »
Well the psychiatrist was the one that said this type of personality is drawn to engineering and you find more of that control/manipulative type in engineers plus friends who have sons that are engineers or married to one can agree with the personality types. The psychiatrist said we are going to work on how we can work around this and do so on his terms is all we can do . So we will see what she tells us for our next visit which will be more about what to do as the first one was meeting us , getting the story. I did feel good when she asked had we ever been to see a psychartist before and when we said no she said it was unusual at our age 60 and 62, we laughted and said well we probably could have been in maybe so now we better try catching up with our age group. Poor lady is she is for a real ride  lol

Offline pam1

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Re: controlling sil
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2012, 05:17:36 PM »
Welcome Artlady :)

Please read the Forum Agreement and WWU History, both threads are located in the category Open Me First.  We ask all new members to do so not b/c there is anything wrong with your post :)

I have never heard of the mascot thing, is that a local tradition?  Pretty cool.

However, if this was a shock to him at his own wedding, I can see why he is so upset.  I also get the impression that his feelings about it were taken less than seriously. 

I also am leery at psychiatrists who label others with second hand information and at the first meeting, no less! There's good and bad counselors out there and if you were a good friend of mine...I would advise you to get a new one and possibly go to a family counselor rather than a psychiatrist.   To me, it's like the internet.....you can always find some self-proclaimed expert or article to back up your point of view.  In any case, I don't think labels are going to do you a lot of good in this area.

On another note, I think I read it as if he is staying away...not necessarily forcing or coercing his wife to stay away from you.  If he doesn't like you, he would be uncomfortable being around you and especially at times like when his child is being born.  But I think it's quite a jump to assume he is forcing his wife into isolation from you considering what you've said.  You were at the hospital and that's a lot more than many grandparents are allowed to do nowadays. 

I'm not say any of this to be harsh rather than to give you some other points to think about.  I agree with the previous poster that a lot of the times it's easier to focus in on the in law than the adult child.   It also may just be something that you have to accept on your own without trying to figure him out -- he is uncomfortable around you.  And perhaps going to a counselor to deal with your feelings about SIL would be more helpful than going to a counselor to figure him out.  In the long run I think you'll feel a lot better about the situation if you approach counseling like that rather than "what is SILs problem?"

I am glad you found us, I think you'll find a lot to relate to here.
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

Offline artlady

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Re: controlling sil
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2012, 05:57:28 PM »
Thanks all for the input. I did go to the Open Me , Pam 1 so I hope I've been posting correctly as I'm new and learning. I need to clarify we didn't go to the counseling to figure the SIL out but to help us a we were not sleeping, eating and felt sick to our stomachs. We know we can't do anything about all of the issues he has we can only try to learn how to cope , not let it be so devastating and ruin what time we have left on this earth. There was some thing that went on before the mascot at the reception. It is hard as he is not close to his own family so I don't'  think he thinks he needs family and he doesn't' have any friends except the one couple they do things with from time to time . He is introvert and she is extrovert. No we are not going to figure him out just for us so we can cope and not lose our daughter . I do wish he would at least be respectful and not so rude and arrogant that would make it easier .

Offline luise.volta

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Re: controlling sil
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2012, 06:05:01 PM »
My take is that's the core of the issue…wishing he was different. Best to let that one go. It really can make you sick. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline artlady

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Re: controlling sil
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2012, 06:12:02 PM »
Oh I just feel for my daughter but she made the choice , so now it is time for her to manage her life and situation to suit her life/happiness. WE will be here for her and will do whatever we have to do not to rock the boat. We will just have to learn not to be so sensitive to his rude, arrogant behavior which is going to be hard, to be on eggshells, make him center of attention like he wants so that is why we need guidance and we will pull from our faith very hard. Prayer will be our best friend for a long time it looks like .

Offline luise.volta

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Re: controlling sil
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2012, 06:14:57 PM »
Well put…and a plan of action you can live with. You don't have to like. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline FAFE

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Re: controlling sil
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2012, 07:14:26 PM »
This description of an engineer pegged my "ever so smart and we were so dumb" BIL to perfection.