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Holding a Grudge

Started by Grammie, August 09, 2012, 06:43:06 am

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Diva, Holding a grudge serves no good purpose.  How is MIL supposed to get to know her DIL if there is no communication?  MIL was wrong to make assumptions so prove her wrong!  It takes some time and a lot of communication for a MIL to understand her roll in your life, we aren't mind readers.  Just like children don't come with instructions neither do ILs.  At least there is interaction in your family and still a chance to mend those bridges.  A relaxed friendly relationship is so much more pleasant than a tense silent one.  I know I never raised my children thinking, I can't wait till they grow up so I can get them out of my life.  I wanted to add daughters to my family not compete with them. My career was being a mom with the hope of a promotion to GM.  Now at 59 I've been told that my services are no longer needed and that I've been a failure at the only job I've ever known.  That tears your heart out! 
Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable.   
~ Denis Waitley ~


Quote from: Pen on August 08, 2012, 10:18:35 pm
My problem is that DIL does not like us & chooses not to spend time w/us. There isn't anything we can do about it. She & DS have no idea how much our family has been impacted by this; seems simple enough to just go on w/o her, but it affects a lot of the things we do. It's sad & frustrating, and I find myself feeling resentful.

We haven't forgotten about you Pen, even though your thread has kind of taken a left turn!

Pen, I think all you can do is maintain what you have with your DS, maybe with a little bit of pushing for 'more'.

My DB married a girl who was a pill.  She was controlling and "hard".  But my Mom sucked it up and did what she could to 'not' rock the boat and to maintain a relationship with my DB and the kids.  Since we never offended SIL "too much", she had no reason to cut us off, and thus we were able to forge a relationship with the kids.

Well, 21 years later, their marriage has fallen apart.  We have my brother back, and the kids too (although, they're not kids anymore, but they are pretty fun grown-ups!).  I have to say that in the end, it was worth all of the times I had to bite my tongue around my SIL, because now she's gone, and we have a good relationship with DB, DNc & Dnph.  And really, God willing, we'll have another good 20 years with them (for my Mom, hopefully more for the rest of us).

So hold on Pen, he may open his eyes, she may mellow out, there's still hope.  Hey, you might win the lottery and end up "rich enough" for them!


I agree with the not being a mind reader part.  I was expected to know exactly how to "behave" around my DIL and her FOO, without receiving any clue.  Of course I failed right off the bat... then the remainder of our relationship consisted of me doing and saying the wrong things and being critiqued and criticized for it.   By the time it was all brought out into the open,  it was a battle royal and so ugly that there is no longer any hope of a relationship of any kind.   Not fair at all..  How do you know what is expected if no one tells you..  It goes both ways I agree..  But some sort of communication is necessary.

I haven't forgotten about you either Pen...  I am in exactly the same boat..  Getting very little but crumbs.. (haven't seen my GKs for 5 months now).    I expect I will see them this weekend because DS needs the favor I promised him before the end of the month. Guess I'm good for something.   But I know what you mean... it hurts, but complaining does no good as it may make DS want to see me even less... and keeping quiet lets him think I am A-OK with the status quo..   Don't know what the answer is.


Quote from: Grammie on August 09, 2012, 04:54:24 am
Scoop,  Why demand an apology?

Okay Grammie - I wouldn't say that I'm *demanding* an apology.  It's more that it would have been nice, for BOTH OF US, to have the opportunity to apologize for the FIRST unintentional infractions.  That these small slights add up over time and build into huge resentments.

However, I've come to the realization that DH can't "manage" his own relationship with his P's, so how can he help in smoothing things over between the IL's and me?

I have another question ... how do you *not* hold a grudge?  It's been said about me that I don't just hold a grudge, I *treasure* it.  I don't know how to "let go" of old insults and snubs, unless there's an apology or a change in behaviour.  To me, if I "let go" of the insult, I'm just setting myself up to get kicked in the teeth again.


I'm with you there Scoop.  I believe I will hold a grudge against my DIL 'til the day I die... and probably beyond if I can manage it.  I don't believe that any amount of apology from her (not that she ever would) would be able to change that.   I wish I was able to let go, but when someone hurts me as badly as she did.... nothing can make it better.   


S - Two things helped me with that one. I felt so wounded when something like that happened that it seemed like it was permanent unless it was taken back. The first was something I read, somewhere, that said the only things that hurt us are the things we think are true. I had low self-esteem and so put downs were confirmation. The proof of that was evidenced by one my best friends who had no such issues. When she was put down it didn't affect her at all...she just shrugged and wondered what was "wrong with that person." Through her I was able to see the power I was giving others to define me. The other was something else I can't trace back and may have read here that rang true for me...and that was that holding a grudge only hurts the grudge holder...not the offender. The outcome was (eventually) my deep experience that what others think is about them, not me. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama



I hate, hate, hate to feel like a victim and when I catch myself holding a grudge, I try to look at it and see if that's the position I'm in. "Look what they did to me"is not a role that I aspire to generally.  (Not saying you are, just saying that's me.)

That said, I did keep offending emails from my DIL around for about a year.  For what, I'm not sure.  To document how nasty she was with me?  To be able to present them at a future date to finally get the justice I deserve so much?  I realized the other day that it was doing no good, just tying up space on my computer and disturbing my chi.  I went through and deleted all of it, in fact everything on my computer with her name on it. 

Look at it this way - the person who wronged you has won over your because they are in your head, occupying your attention and your energy.  As long they fixate your attention in the form of a grudge, you'll always be their victim. That's just my opinion.

I think you can avoid getting kicked in the teeth again without holding a grudge.   Isn't that called 'experience'?  You burn yourself on a hot stove.  You don't hold a grudge against the stove but you sure know to keep your skin away from the heating element next time. 

What do you think?


Such truth.

Thanks Luise & Doe.  This really give me something to think about.


Lol I am not holding a gradge I just really don't care to get to know her anymore.  It's been since my daughter was born that she has tried to be nice.  My dh works long hours and I think she wants to see dd more, i think she is trying to butter me up.lol. I want my dd to have a relationship with her grandma and I am civil to her. 

I was raised by parents who had no problems with their ILs.  I never went in thinking this would ever happen or even really thinking it could happen.

Pen I don't have a great relationship with my ILs.  His mother has told him he's not as close to his family as he use to be.  They blame it on me but I tell dh all the time invite them over .  He's so busy a tired after work he never does and they blame me.  He knows I will go if he wants to but I am not making the plans for him.  Try inviting them over make a dinner for them.  Ask your son what's going on with the wedding.  Really what could it hurt.


Pen I do apologize for this thread going off in all directions.  I do however feel that doing so may help others work out issues before they end up with the same situation as we both seem to be in.  The fact is that we cannot MAKE someone do what they don't want to do, including an apology.  If a person is one who must have closure and resolution and is dealing with someone who just wants to move on then no one wins.  If DS and DIL had an issue with me they should have brought it to my attention so we could discuss it.  I would have apologized if an apology was due them.  But don't deny access to my GC for 8 months and refuse to talk to me and expect me to apologize.  At that point IMO it's better to chalk it up to experience and move on.  Eventually you have to let go or you make yourself and everyone around you miserable. 
Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable.   
~ Denis Waitley ~


I split this topic off of Pen's because it's has wandered a long way off the OP (oricinal post) but is something many of us are working on. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


If something is a one time thing or a one off, I'm not likely to remember it.  But, I will notice a pattern.  And it doesn't matter who it is.  The fact of the matter is is that my MIL is pushy, insulting and aggressive.  She didn't just bite me once, she bit several times and not only me, she bit several people I care about.  I remember it and the way I interact with her reflects this.  Is it grudge holding?  IMO, no. 

And again, I act like this with everyone.  If they have a pattern of interacting negatively with me, I reduce contact with them as much as possible.  I do not enjoy drama and negative vibes so I get myself out of the situation the best I can. 

So, to me, there is a vast difference between grudge holding and self-preservation.  It would be different if I ignored my own feelings and went around MIL as much as she wanted, but also acted like I didn't want to be around her.  If I acted p/a or threw digs at her -- I don't.  I simply choose to remove my presence after many attempts at reconciliation.  When I do have to be around her I greet her like I do anyone else, say a few words and move on, just like with anyone else that I do not care to be around.

I'm sure my MIL says I really hold a grudge, well ok.  I'm not angry about it or upset, I don't think for days on end (like I used to when I was around her a lot more, more proof that removing my presence was the right thing to do.)  I simply don't seek out company that treats me like she does.  End of story.
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


P - My take on that is there's a huge difference. You choose not to beanother person's punching bag. That's healthy for you and if she only knew it, it's healthy for her, too. Sendong love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


I have to admit, I can be bad for holding grudges as well. I'm in my early 30s, and it's only been the last couple years that I figured out that it may not be the best thing for me. Up until then forgiveness came across to me as saying that what the other person did was ok. Now I think of it as just letting go of the hurt/anger/frustration and no longer dwelling on it. Doesn't mean what that person did was ok, or that I'm inviting them to do it again. It's more of a "I'm not going to waste time or energy on that any more". A lot of the people we hold grudges against probably don't give us a second thought.


That's where I am NewMama, most of the time.  I don't think of it as a grudge but the same as you.

The other part of the time, yeah....I hold a grudge.  Doesn't mean I sit around and plot against them or think about them much, but you bet your bottom dollar that if the opportunity arose...ummm...they better not say or do the wrong thing?

I'm struggling with Ex and his new wife right now.  I'm still furious over what she did to my YS and FDIL.  She's still continuing her pattern.  After FDIL text and called her and Ex to try and visit them for a month, then stopped by and tried to talk to her and she ignored her, walking off...she's now emailed my YS (who's in Afghanistan) twice in the last two weeks, complaining about FDIL not keeping them in the loop or visiting her.  YS is about had it with her and so has FDIL.  She's digging her own grave, which in turn, is digging Ex one next to her.

They are both still trying to remain civil, but she's making it hard.  Where I am struggling is that I am staying out of it and letting them make their own decisions, but come December, I'm going to have to sit in a hospital waiting room and attend a wedding with them.  I can remain civil, but the more she keeps on with them, the harder it is going to be for me to keep my mouth shut if she says one wrong word!  That's where I say I guess you could call that a grudge.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell