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A Positive Update

Started by NewMama, May 23, 2012, 05:56:53 am

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A few months ago I found WWU when I was stuck in an unpleasant situation with my MIL. The ladies here gave me some good advice, and a few days after I made my first post, I had an ok visit with MIL (only a couple snarky comments, not a constant stream of them). I thought things were looking up but they came crashing back down afterwards. There was a lot of drama surrounding DS's first birthday, leading to a huge fight between DH and I over MIL, and he agreed to talk to her.

Her birthday is this week, so DH had arranged a visit to their summer place last weekend, but forgot that I had told him any day but Sunday (Long weekend, and DS had photos booked on Sunday). He put off calling to reschedule til the last minute and MIL's BF doesn't allow for last minute/spur of the moment anything. He's very regimented. So we couldn't go Sat and they would be in transit Mon. I suggested DH invite them to stop in Mon during their travel, but he said no. I nearly had a panic attack thinking I was going to get the blame for all of it, especially since she's been critical of having DS's photos done in the past. Thankfully MIL called and asked if they could stop in Mon.

A lot of people (not here on WWU!!) have encouraged me to be mean back to her, cut her off, etc but I figured I should just be the bigger person here. I went out and got a bunch of birthday decorations and balloons, wrapped the presents DH picked out, and hand made her a card with DS's handprint. She was very appreciative of all of it, and never said ONE snarky thing, even when the subject turned to topics she's been very critical of in the past. She was so happy about the card she said was going to frame it.

I really hope we're headed in the right direction here. It's easier to have visits when they're at their summer place, so maybe that'll help as well.


Oh that's awesome NewMama.  Kudos to you for doing all of that for her when you didn't have to.  I certainly hope your DH was appreciative of all your efforts as it definately sounds like your MIL was.  Great job!
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


Good for you!  :D  Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


NewMama, that's wonderful news! Your MIL is very lucky to have a DIL like you. Good on you for choosing to take the high road!
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

lancaster lady

Aren't things sooo much better when everyone is pleasant ?
Oh for a perfect world .
I hope this is the start of a better relationship for you NewMama .
It certainly makes life easier in these depressing times .


So pleased and you did the right thing . I still send cards and text for special times to sil even though i've been told not to waste a stamp. I think being the bigger person is better as then you know in your heart you did the right thing and you can look at yourself in the mirror . Job well done .


Great news NM!  I am wishing I had u for a DIL!  Don't get to pick tho!  Do yourself a favor and be polite but direct and tell you MIL when she crosses the line?  She may be used to steamrolling others in her fam, including ur hubby so she may need a little practice in getting it right.  Do not let things add up and fester until u and hub are ready to throw her from a train.  We grannies need help to understand our new roles.  being up front, GENTLE and honest really helps everyone.  Keep your corrective feedback to "I" and "we" statements.  Avoid the "you" as she may become defensive and not really hear you.  be serious and just say, "i get nervous when u come around because we are different and I really want to have a good relationship with you."    "I feel X when you do or say X" (snarky remark/ action)   " is everything OK with you today because you seem a bit bothered"  She says, " No, i'm fine.  Why do u think I am bothered?"  You say, "You are being a bit short and critical today" (always focus on behaviors) she says, " who me?  what did i do to make u think this?"  Then u give her specific examples and tell her how you feel and tell her if she needs to have a moment alone or take a break, just ask.  "We want you to be comfy here so let us know if we can do anything...bla bla bla"  or the picture issue:  She is snarky about the photo, the clothing, setting, photographer, etc.....She makes "suggestions".  You say,  "Thanks for your advice,  I never thought of it that way.  I may consider that next time."  This phrase works well in diffusing any disagreement.  If she pushes, u have to be firm and say, "We have it covered and we really like the pictures just as they are."  As she learns how to be a grandma in your liking, it will be important for you to tell her what you expect and gently and politely give her feedback, specific to behavior EACH time she does something that makes you so upset that the train idieas keeps looming.  Bless you for taking the high road!


That's great news!  You're a gem, NM!

forever spring

Great news NewMama! Be the more generous person. If you can do that it's wonderful. Your suggestions helped me greatly with regards the the problems I mentioned in a different thread. Thanks for that as well. It shows your strength of character if you can engage with other people's issues and comment on those.
May your relationship with your MIL blossom in the future. This is my true wish! Happy birthday to your little one!


Thanks everyone, I hope our situation only gets better from here.

I work in a female dominated field, so I have a very large group of all female coworkers with a wide range in age. ILs are a common topic of conversation, it shocked me what kind of bad advice I got when I mentioned having issues - cut her off, be mean to her etc. A lot of the people who said that are the kind that invite drama into their lives anyways, so I shouldn't be surprised.

I used to watch Dr Phil years ago, and I think he's kind of a nut now, but one really good piece of advice he had was about being the bigger person. He said that most people say "well I'll be better behaved when so-and-so is better behaved" which is basically a cop-out to act like a jerk. Since you have no control over the other person, you can't tie your behaviour to theirs. Just step up and be the bigger person. I figured that if this continued, and DH & DS end up in the middle, I'm not going to be the one who put them there and I'll know that I made an effort. And it worked out well so far :)


Good for you, NewMama! 

I know what you mean about the bad advice, when I first sought out advice about my IL situation I heard scores of "cut her off"  or my favorite "put her in a time out."  And I'm joking when I say my favorite :)

We did end up ultimately estranged but not after I tried.  It's not ideal but I know I did everything the best I could.  I can look back and say with a good conscience that I tried and I wouldn't trade that for the world. 

I hope this positivity continues on for you :)  It's nice to hear success stories!
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift