Author Topic: more of my side....  (Read 2948 times)

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bettylou

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more of my side....
« on: April 16, 2010, 10:43:04 PM »
I asked daughter in law if she would like to come to the Coach store with my daughter and I.  I would treat each of us to a bag and then lunch.  I offered to drive but daughter in law said it would not work she would meet us there.  She was half an hour late, and talked on the phone the entire time.  She had no interest in talking to either one of us.  When she did finally get off the phone and chose the biggest most expensive bag  to the register she told my daughter how she never gets out and is always stuck at home with my grandson because she can never get a babysitter.  She knew that was a sensitive topic with my daughter and she had to go there.  She did tell us how her mother was watching him that day and taking him to the zoo for the first time.  She loves to tell us what her family is doing with him.  She always has a huge smirk when she tells us he is with her mother doing all kinds of fun things.  We felt really low because of her.  My daughter did ask when she might be able to come over and hang out with her and son and baby and daughter in law rolled her eyes and said "we'll have to see about that one!"  It was as if my daughter had asked her to put her through college or something. She then told me she was not going to lunch with us because she was driving across town to get her nails done "oh well maybe next time."
 I do not know why she is so mean to my daughter!  Once we asked her and son to come see daughter get an award from the group she belongs to for the gifted, daughter in law said out loud, "if she is so gifted whey is not enrolled at X school for the gifted in our town"  I was shocked but explained to her that it was too much money for us and she laughed and said "if she was truely gifted and talented she could go there for free."  This is what we deal with everytime we see her.  She never brings grandson and she spends the time slamming me and my daughter and then has my son call us to complain about our "rudeness"  or things that hurt her.  When I once asked son if he thought all thienegative towards daughter would damage her, he told his wife.  She told him I was damagaing everyone in my life and how dare I accuse them of something like that.  I must be so manipulative and cruel.
Why does she hate my daughter so much?

Hope

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Re: more of my side....
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2010, 11:04:41 PM »
Bettylou, I'm feeling your pain.  My dil is not nice to my ydd.  She's not even all that nice to my odd who is her same age.  It's not as bad as your situation, but bad enough that my ydd sobbed her heart out after dil/ds left our house following ydd's birthday celebration.  Dil ignored ydd all night and would not answer her when spoken to.  Ydd wrote a very sweet letter to dil afterwards, but dil still gave her the cold treatment for a few more months.  My ydd had to pay for a comment she innocently made a few months prior to her birthday.  As I read your post I felt like you would be best just moving on and leaving your dil/ds/gc alone and see if they come to you.  If they don't make any contact with you, then you really can't force them to be in the relationship.  Taking a step back could make them realize that you respect yourself and deserve respect from them as well.  I should take my own advice. ;)  Trying to help you ended up helping me see my own situation clearer.  Thanks, Bettylou!
More hugs, Hope
« Last Edit: April 16, 2010, 11:07:48 PM by Hope »

bettylou

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Re: more of my side....
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2010, 11:17:21 PM »
I would love to know more about your situation with your daughter and daughter in law, because anytime I tell this to people they can not believe it.  They are shocked a grown up can be such a coldhearted bully to my daughter.  Share with me if you like.  To me it shows the daughter in law maybe jelous of any females in her husband's life or family not just his mother.  What do you think about that?  I know what you mean about being punished for innocent comments trust me!  My daughter in law does the same to us all the time.  I am thinking of your advice to sit back and let go and see what happens.
 I never call daughter in law anymore because she doesn't answer or talk to me.  I call or email my son when he is at work as that is what he told me was best for him.  I do not call him everyday.  When we talk it is about my personal life, daughter and his fahter and the extended family.  I always ask about grandson and daughter in law.  I do not ask about visiting very often anymore, but I always tell him they are welcome.  I ask if there is anything they need from us, and we talk about tv, movies and current events.  But it is strained I will not lie about that, it is awkward for both of us but atleast I still try and atleast he still picks up his phone.  This happens about every other week or every two weeks or so.  And they live ten minutes away! 

Postscript

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Re: more of my side....
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2010, 11:27:23 PM »
I don't always get on with my sisters in law.  I have a few, but I've always managed to have at least a civil relationship with them all on both sides. 

One is very competitive (my younger brother's wife), she got pregnant the month after I fell pregnant, once the boys were born (mine arrived first because well, he was conceived first) there was nothing my son could do that couldn't be equalled or bettered by hers.  When my son started crawling at bang on 6 months (it was only exciting for the first day after that it became a nightmare he was into everything!) she claimed her son was talking, okkkkaaaay!  He was 5 weeks to the day younger than my son, which means he was just 4 1/2 months old!  I just said oh that's wonderful but that was when I realized just how competitive she is and it's lasted to this day.  She and my brother are the only family members that never congratulated my son on winning his academic scholarship, he and my nephew go to the same high school.  She was also a little miffy that I had a daughter, she had two sons and would love a daughter.  The point is, I have accepted her as she is and while I don't limit time with her, she's not exactly top of my visiting list but we do get along and for the most part we've managed to find common ground.  I just try to keep to neutral subjects and avoid talk about the kids.

I understand the anguish both you ladies are feeling, your children are being slighted.  As mothers we feel every jab they suffer.  In the long run though, brothers and sisters as adults, live their own lives and don't need to live in each other's pockets.  What I am saying is, while they are younger it may be more of an issue and time will hopefully resolve it.  They can still get together at family occasions and it may be that as they age, they get more in common with their sisters in law.  Hopefully anyway.  I don't know that there is much you can do to make the relationships your daughters have with your daughters in law.  I feel that any interference (and I am using the word in a very non judgmental way for want of a better description) would have a negative impact for you and your daughters.

Offline Pen

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Re: more of my side....
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2010, 11:45:44 PM »
Betty, your story about the Coach store incident should point out to all of us who are trying so hard to have a relationship with DIL/MIL is that it isn't about the money, or the time, or the attention. You've given your DIL a great amount of all those things, and she still treats you horribly. I'm often tempted to spend way more than I should on DIL, but now I know it wouldn't help. (A Coach bag - I drool over those things when I'm in town.) You need to stop spoiling this woman right now! She doesn't deserve you. However, you can adopt me anytime :)

Regarding your daughter feeling slighted, that's so hard for a mom to witness and help with. In this situation it's even more difficult because you don't want to say anything bad about your DIL and cause more problems, but you want to let your daughter know it isn't her fault. I really feel for you and for her. My DIL has a hard time with my DDD, which is to be expected somewhat but kind of ironic since DIL works in the disabilty field. When DDD asks about seeing DS & DIL I have to be vague and say, "Oh, you know how busy they are." When DDD is treated poorly by anyone it's sad enough, but when she misses her brother and doesn't understand why she can't see him it's heartbreaking. I have a fantasy that one day DS & DIL will plan a fun day out with DDD, but that's all it is - a fantasy.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

bettylou

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Re: more of my side....
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2010, 12:03:37 AM »
They have no time for my daughter but while my son is working daughter in law finds time to have her exhusband for lunch or to sit around the fire pit at night go figure that one out!  What is DDD?  I do not know what that means sorry.  It hurts me more when she is mean to my daughter than when she is mean to me.  It hurts but I would rather hurt than have my child hurting.  My husband is tired of it but is somehow able to not think about it much and blow it off until something new happens.  I am no longer spoiling daughter in law I will not waste my money anymore.  When Christmas came we gave, we gave son a huge gas card that is what he asked for and we gave daughter in law a huge grocery card.  Everyone goes to the grocery store.  I tried to make it helpful but not spoil her anymore, and we buy for grandson but we do not see them til after the holidays because they go to her mother's house for Christmas eve and Christmas Day.  We can not even do our holidays on New Years because they go to her mother's for that too.  Unbelievable!  I just want her stop hurting my family

Onlooker

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Re: more of my side....
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2010, 12:20:22 AM »
It sounds like it's best if you and your daughter both get some distance from your DIL, and that it would be best if it's (outwardly, at least) calm, cheerful distance. I wouldn't invite DIL to any more casual social outings, I wouldn't give her any more spontaneous expensive gifts, and I would discourage your daughter from asking to come over to hang out. It sounds like you're already doing some of these things; that's good.

If you do want to invite your DIL and son to things like the school event, I would make it a very calm unpressing invitation, as in, "Daughter is receiving an award at school on the evening of the 28th. You're welcome to join us if you'd like to come." And don't ask for a response, don't press, don't complain if the answer is no or there is no answer. If there is a reason why you will need a response, such as limited tickets, then I'd simply not invite them.

Edited to add: In case my advice sounds contradictory from post to post: I still think that it's important to listen to what your son says, and to try to change behaviors that he or your DIL object to _when you interact with them_. But I also think that reduced interaction may be a good idea.

Onlooker
« Last Edit: April 17, 2010, 12:22:43 AM by Onlooker »

Postscript

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Re: more of my side....
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2010, 12:23:17 AM »
Bettylou I think having read all of your posts, that you've done enough.  Really you have made every possible effort.  I know it hurts you. 

Perhaps it's time to just take a step back from it all and detach.  Detachment is a technique  health professionals and emergency services workers use.  While they are treating or are involved with the patient/victim, they treat them with empathy and kindness.  For their own sanity however, they cannot afford to involve their emotions in every case, so they learn to keep their personal emotion out of the situation.  If they didn't, they'd break down and burn out.

I'm not suggesting cut off or anything rash, just taking an emotional step back, if you can.  It's not an easy technique to learn and it might not be right for you, this is just a suggestion.

Offline Pen

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Re: more of my side....
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2010, 12:35:19 AM »
Sorry, DDD is "dear disabled daughter." I think I made up that acronym since I've never seen it anywhere else :D It confuses people all the time. It probably isn't important to tell people, but sometimes it explains my family dynamics.

I agree with Onlooker and Postscript. I understand how you hurt over all this, truly I do. I want your DIL to stop behaving as she does, and I want you to stop being hurt. But, I kind of get the feeling she's not going to change unless DS demands it. Maybe a break is what everyone needs. It'll give DS a chance to see on his own what's going on. He needs to deal with it, but he has to come to that brilliant deduction himself or the change won't happen.  Quell any urges you might have to lead him to it - it most likely will backfire.

Good for you for not spoiling as much anymore. It's hard not to when you so much want to make everyone happy.

Best wishes and {{hugs}} Not enough, I know, but it's all we can do right now.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

bettylou

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Re: more of my side....
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2010, 12:35:37 AM »
I wish I could afford to take us all out to the Coach store, I only do that once a year or so.  I save alot for my fun money if you all only saw all the coupons I clip and keep in there you would laugh.  I usually shop discount. 
I know I need to detach as you said I have never heard that before I will google it.  I am afraid if I do not continue kissing up then I might not see them at all.  I am afraid to do anything to tell you the truth.  I am just so burned up over it all.  I can not stand that we can not see grandson but her ex is over there an awful lot.  They have no kids togethor so I do not get it at all, and son told us he does not aprove but he can't stop her.  I kept my mouth shut as I always do when he tells me things that are negative about her or their marriage.  I look at it like this, he loves her and will always forgive her, I do not love her and sometimes I can not forgive her easily so if I say something in anger he may get hurt over it later or resent me.  I say "well, that is between you two." or "you should be talking to her about this not me."  I am just so burned up...to crisp....on both sides....can't even flip me over!  Ha ha I am like the KFC that got forgotton in the fryer for a few days ladies!

Offline Pen

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Re: more of my side....
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2010, 12:46:57 AM »
Yup, continue to keep your mouth zipped, Betty, I beg you...what will be will be, but if you have any part in anything between them you will be out forever. Hang in there, it sounds like DS is starting to awaken to reality. I understand your statement about doing what you do so you can see your son - me, too. But I really think you've gotten great advice here from DILs and MILs about backing off. Take care of yourself, get some space, and more than likely things with DS will improve. {{{hugs}}}
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Postscript

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Re: more of my side....
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2010, 12:56:59 AM »
Betty it's kind of the same thing as ignoring your kids when they harp on about something.  The old "are we there yet, are we there yet, are we there yet"  Remember that?  You could empathize with their impatience but you gave up answering after the 20th time.

Here is my suggestion:

You won't be ignoring them, but let them come to you, when they do, let them take the lead.  In other words, let them chase you for a change.   

Don't allow yourself to dissect every nuance of the visit by yourself.  If your son rings after to complain about it, just ask him open ended questions that make him think eg Dear Wife felt you were being picky tonight(just an example from the top of my head not an accusation), Why did she feel that way? What would she like me to do about that? Why would she say that? Keep questioning till he comes to his own satisfactory conclusion.  Don't act or seem defensive in any way, just curious. 

Post about it here when it happens and get your feelings out so you can look at how you felt and why. 

bettylou

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Re: more of my side....
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2010, 12:58:20 AM »
Ok gals, I will back off why not?  I have tried everything else and it got me nothing but scorn.  I will back off.  But I would still like to be here for friendship and advice and a place to complain.  I need that because I can not let myself complain to family or son

Postscript

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Re: more of my side....
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2010, 01:05:26 AM »
Ok gals, I will back off why not?  I have tried everything else and it got me nothing but scorn.  I will back off.  But I would still like to be here for friendship and advice and a place to complain.  I need that because I can not let myself complain to family or son

I want to say something that is going to sound a little off but I don't know any other way to put it, I mean it with the best of intent so if anyone else can rephrase it by all means do and Betty please take it with the best spirits as I mean no disrespect...

Basically by pandering to them, you've allowed yourself to become a doormat and your daughter in law feels she can wipe her feet on you.  By backing off and not chasing her, you'll prick at her ego.  Things will probably be very quiet for a while, then she will realize suddenly there's a space in front of the door and nothing to wipe her feet on.

See what I mean about the phrasing? But I don't mean it badly.

Onlooker

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Re: more of my side....
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2010, 01:23:03 AM »
Postscript, I was thinking something similar and couldn't figure out how to phrase it.

I'm less sure of the motivation behind this DIL's behavior, but every reason that I can think of - whether she wants that doormat, or she feels pestered, or she feels hurt or disrespected and is lashing out, or a combination - is likely to be improved by backing off and increasing emotional distance.

And, BettyLou, not backing off with visible anger or hurt or "I'll show you!" Just calmly backing off, trying to make your mindset the way that it would be if your life were just a little too full of other happy fulfilling things, and you were very happy that your son and his family were getting along so well without needing any help from you, so that you could keep focusing on those other things.

Onlooker
« Last Edit: April 17, 2010, 01:25:32 AM by Onlooker »