Author Topic: I know it's MY problem.  (Read 4768 times)

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Offline Lillycache

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I know it's MY problem.
« on: June 12, 2013, 08:23:39 AM »
I would like to bring up a topic for discussion and advise..  It probabley is an uncomfortable topic so Louise if it is in anyway inappropriate please lock or delete.. However, I do not intend this to incite or upset.. It's MY problem I realize that and I am working on it.. Maybe I can get some insight from others who feel this way and how they handle it.

  I was incredibley hurt by a mean and vengeful DIL..as well as her family.   In fact I don't refer to her as my DIL... but only as the person my son is married to.  I don't refer to her family at all, except.  I believe I have put that behind me and gone on with my life.  I have a somewhat acceptable relationship with my Son and my GKs, although I realize that I am and always will be only a marginal figure in their lives.  I see them maybe 3 or 4 times a year, and because of the rift between their mother an I, there is no contact between those times.   It shouldn't be this way, and the unfairness of it all still galls me.

Because of that, and the horrible taste left in my mouth.. I have a very difficult time responding to or offering advise and comfort to the DILs that come here, or even to the mothers of girls that have issues with their SILs parents.  It's really hard for me..  SO.. I usually do not respond, so as to not inadvertantly say anything hurtful or unpleasant... AND it's not just this forum.. it's IRL also.  If I hear a DIL complaining about her MIL... or someone complaining about their SILs parents, I have to fight the urge to come out with a snarky remark.   Trust me.. I KNOW these people are not MY DIL or her foo..   My HEAD knows that.. it certainly does.. but my heart and emotions say otherwise, and I fight the urge to strike out at them.   I try SOO hard, but it's very difficult.   How have many of you been able to overcome that, and more importantly HOW?     

And up front to any DIL reading this... I KNOW this is my problem.  I'm being honest here, and  I suspect that for just this reason, many forums.. tend to be.. well..... less than supportive..  Is it ever possible to separate oneself?   I'm interested in other's feelings and perceptions.


Offline luise.volta

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Re: I know it's MY problem.
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2013, 10:01:20 AM »
LC - If I deleted unpleasant topics, we wouldn't have a forum. This is where we bring them. There is nothing of the attack mode in your post. You know how carefully we watch for that because WWU wasn't designed to be a battlefield. That said, I think there are many of us that carry a pattern from real experience that gets in our way when we apply it automatically to people, places and things that remind us of whatever hurt us so deeply.

We have a lot of people here who are in a similar place. I certainly have been. We have had women here who had a very similar experience but it's been with all MILs, not DILs. Many didn't want to continue to be controlled by it but a few seem to have beoome so attached to the feeling that it became pretty much an identity that they chose to keep.

The basic purpose of WWU is to get "it" up and out and then sometimes one of us can offer what helped her get through it in such a way that it helps another member. Sometimes, it's a book, or a special counselor and sometimes it's a conscious change in attitide and focus. What helped one of us may not touch another. You are asking those of us who didn't want to keep it in place and who have been able to move through being so reactive, what we have done. This is the place to ask that. The only cap I have put on our mutual sharing is leaving religious recommendations out of it because that can so easily start an endless and often hurtful debate. And to insist that we can only help each other if we create and maintain mutual respect.

I will tell you what helped me…and that is a clearing of what I have stored up unconsciously that I don't want to be run by. I spent many years trying to bring new data in to "fix" my fixations. Books, teachers, seminars…and anything else I could get my hands on. However, for me, it all remained on top of the unconscious "garbage" and that rotten apple in the barrel allways won.

Where I ended up was not necessarily where you will find peace. With me it was www.Jo Dunning.com and a free telecast the last Tuesday of every month. Jo or someone on her staff guides everyone through a silent process called the Quick Pulse. Yes, strange name, it's not about our circulation, it's about energy. I silently, in the privacy of my own home, follow the directions on how to bring up every negative aspect of an issue (past or present) that bothers me, so it can be cleared. This has completely changed my life and, most recently, gotten me through DH's death 3 1/2 months ago.

So there you have one person's response. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline Stilllearning

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Re: I know it's MY problem.
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2013, 10:28:53 AM »
Oh my goodness Lilly!   I am so there!!  And now my DIL is having a baby and everyone wants me to be all happy.  My siblings all have GC and that is all they talk about anymore.  I have always enjoyed our family reunion until my son got married.  I am working on it so I will be closely watching your topic for help.

Thanks Louise, I signed up for the webinar.  Fingers crossed.  Thanks for your words of wisdom and calm.  This too shall pass (hopefully before I do!  LOL)
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
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Offline Pooh

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Re: I know it's MY problem.
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2013, 01:50:28 PM »
I think Lilly when someone can admit something honestly about themselves, that is the basis for healing.  I also think what you are feeling is very common.  I can even take it to another level, that has nothing to do with this forum, but yet relates.  Because I hurt every day (physically), I had a very low tolerance for someone else complaining about not feeling good.  I'm talking, 24 hr stuff or they got a couple of stitches.  I wanted to blurt out, "Ohhh....boo hoo hoo.  At least you will get over yours!!!!!!!!!"  So I ended up not commenting at all because I really wanted to say that.  I had no sympathy for others because frankly, I was too busy feeling sorry for myself.

Now here comes my tough love :)   You already know it.  It truly is your problem and therefore, only you can solve it.  I had to mentally fight with myself to remember that my disease isn't that person's fault.  It's nobody's fault and it just is.  I have to remember that if someone gets a splinter, what it felt like before I was sick to get a splinter, and that it hurt too.

Some thing with my DIL.  If I held my other DIL in contempt simply because my first DIL is the person she is, that would be so unfair to her.  And I would have cheated myself out of a great relationship and alienated her in the process.  And who could blame her?  If I held the sins of my first DH against my 2nd....oh wow....I would have missed out on the greatest love of my life and so much laughter and fun.

So, part of it is selfishness on my part.  Why should I miss out on all the great things, simply because people are how they are?  And I put myself in their shoes as well.  I don't want to not be given a chance simply because someone did them wrong.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline Pen

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Re: I know it's MY problem.
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2013, 03:20:14 PM »
I try to remember "It could be worse," as a dear friend's dad used to say. He'd been in a prison camp during WW2 and he said that phrase often while going through unmentionable horrors. But, there are days when my situation gets me down and I'm not so grateful for what's good in my family's life.

LC, I understand your feelings. I still have trouble with the reality that my DIL and her FOO didn't lose a darn thing by shunning us. Off they go on their merry way, family intact, holidays & family events filled with people (now including DS!) and fun. Meanwhile, we miss our DS, and our holidays & family events are pathetically small (just the 3 of us.) When friends and family expect us to be excited about things pertaining to DS/DIL, it's painful. They assume our situation is like theirs in which they've added an AC and perhaps even the AC's FOO, rather than losing an AC. I'm not sure I've gotten through to a DIL here on the boards with that explanation; most are not ready to hear it, I'm guessing.

What we're going through is unnecessary and very unfair.

But back to "it could be worse." DS is alive, thriving, happy, in love, and a joy to his shiny, new family ('cos we raised him right, pat-on-back, lol.) We get occasional calls, a few texts, rare visits. It certainly could be much worse!
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline herbalescapes

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Re: I know it's MY problem.
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2013, 08:48:01 AM »
LC, I don't think you have  a problem so much as you're simply human.  All of us offer advice based on our own experiences.  Whenever a MIL complains about a DIL keeping DS away from his FOO, my kneejerk reaction is to think "Yeah right, more like your DS can't establish boundaries so he is passive/aggressively letting DIL take the heat for his own decision to keep you at armslength."  since that was my experience.  Does it happen that DS wants his FOO to keep their distance but the FOO blames DIL?  Sure, sometimes.  Does it happen that DILs decide to cut the ILs out for no good reason?  Sure, sometimes.  Maturity helps us realize that not all situations are the same.  If you find that you can't offer advice or sympathy in a polite way, then it's the right choice not to respond.  If you can give your own perspective in a polite way, go for it.  You deserve credit for holding your tongue.  Think about how many problems posted here wouldn't have come about if more people kept their opinions to themselves.  Keep up the good work.

Offline confusedbyinlaws

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Re: I know it's MY problem.
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2013, 12:35:56 PM »
Lilly,
I did not find your post offensive at all as a DIL.  I understand your difficulty as I have had the same difficulty responding or offering advice to  MILs.   Sometimes what I read touches that sore spot in me. 
I have participated in a couple of other MIL forums for DILs.  I did get some validation for my anger, but found it was only making me feel more angry.  I started reading and writing on this site because I  thought it would help lessen my anger toward my MIL if I couild try to understand things from a MIL's perspective  and it has.  When you wrote about how you felt when your DIL shared her true feelings, I realized that my MIL probably feels much like you do. 
I know that my MIL and other MILs are not horrible people... and I am a MIL too.  I tried to be a good DIL and have a good relationship with my inlaws, but in doing so I was not at all true to myself and not assertive and consequently allowed a lot of resentment to build.  When I tried to talk to my MIL about my feelings through the yeasr, she simply defended herself and discounted how I was feeling.  So the last time I tried to talk to my inlaws they pretty much said I was the one with the problem and they never did anything wrong.  Then I blew up and it was ugly as 30 years worth of anger came out.  I know I was totally wrong to do this and immediately apologized to my inlaws and admitted my wrong doing.  I told them it was a result of letting things build and I knew I had done that to myself.  My inlaws didn't do the same however.  A year later she sent a letter "sorry for causing you pain" and still no understanding of anything wrong on their part. 
I admit that I have trouble asserting myself and I allowed the resentment to build until it was so large that I could hardly stand to be around them. 
I know my inlaws are not horrible people but I also know that I am not a horrible person.  I guess the point I am trying to make is that we are all human and some relationships are harder than others.   Also even though I was wrong to hold things in and not be assertive and wrong to express my anger in such a terrible way, there were valid reasons behind the anger.   Your DIL may or may not have had valid reasons to be angry, and it might be too late for your relationship at this point.  I would only suggest to the MILs on here to try to understand WHY your DILs are angry. 
I hope this is not offensive to anyone as this is not my intent.  My intent for being here is to try to understand things better from the other side and also to offer up some input as to what it feels like from this side. 

Offline luise.volta

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Re: I know it's MY problem.
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2013, 01:05:42 PM »
Pretty hard sometimes to "wear the other person's moccasins" but/and it can help when we're able to. Blending families has worked for me and been smooth. It has also been impossilbe for me, resulting in an oil and water thing. We have to work with what we get as the result of the choices others make. I was not the same MIL both times. My DILs would describe me very differently, I'm sure...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline Pen

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Re: I know it's MY problem.
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2013, 05:12:10 PM »
... We have to work with what we get as the result of the choices others make. ...

Yes, that's the difficult thing to accept. It doesn't just happen in family relationships, either, so we might as well learn how to deal with it on the job, in the marketplace, on TV, etc., etc.

I know, I know, be careful what you wish for - but sometimes I wonder if things would be easier if my DIL had a laundry list of sins I'd committed against her so we could discuss, hash it out, & clear the air, and I could apologize and do whatever I could to fix the situation. Because she claims I've done nothing wrong, there really isn't anything I can do to please her except stay away.
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: I know it's MY problem.
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2013, 06:00:24 PM »
…and your son didn't choose that kind of a wife. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline Lillycache

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Re: I know it's MY problem.
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2013, 08:49:10 AM »
Pretty hard sometimes to "wear the other person's moccasins" but/and it can help when we're able to. Blending families has worked for me and been smooth. It has also been impossilbe for me, resulting in an oil and water thing. We have to work with what we get as the result of the choices others make. I was not the same MIL both times. My DILs would describe me very differently, I'm sure...

Sometimes I think I can get to the point were I really want to TRY.... then... bingo... someone says something and  I decide I really am not at that point.   :(

Offline gettingoldandcranky

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Re: I know it's MY problem.
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2013, 09:33:53 AM »
so in your shoes.  thank goodness i still have a "relationship" - all looks well on the surface.  breaks my heart not being able to be close to grandbabe.  even if i am chatting with babe across a room, dil hears and comments.  always watched.  her mom is welcomed with open arms, friends are also.  just the way it is.  took many months to realize but still makes me weep.
when dil has bday, don't want to send card or present.  have lots of resentment.  but can't let it show - things would just be worse.
my mom always said "be the better person" and though she is gone, she is always w/me when we see the grandbabe and know my mom is enjoying each lil moment w/me (even when dil disapproves of my even breathing.)r maybe someday dil will understand, but it is already too late.  so sad and unnecessary

Offline Pooh

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Re: I know it's MY problem.
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2013, 10:58:31 AM »
so in your shoes.  thank goodness i still have a "relationship" - all looks well on the surface.  breaks my heart not being able to be close to grandbabe.  even if i am chatting with babe across a room, dil hears and comments.  always watched.  her mom is welcomed with open arms, friends are also.  just the way it is.  took many months to realize but still makes me weep.
when dil has bday, don't want to send card or present.  have lots of resentment.  but can't let it show - things would just be worse.
my mom always said "be the better person" and though she is gone, she is always w/me when we see the grandbabe and know my mom is enjoying each lil moment w/me (even when dil disapproves of my even breathing.)r maybe someday dil will understand, but it is already too late.  so sad and unnecessary

Welcome GOAC.  Please take a moment to read the highlighted posts under "Open Me First".  It's the forum rules and the flow around here.  Nothing wrong with your post, we ask all new members to do so.   So sad and unnecessary is right.

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline Pen

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Re: I know it's MY problem.
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2013, 07:07:43 PM »
Sunshine82, thanks for sharing your perspective. I've actually been a DIL many decades longer than I've been an MIL, so I too have a DIL perspective but also benefit from having an MIL perspective for the past few years.

My DIL's FOO has IL issues of their own, by DIL's own admission. It feels to me that DIL/her FOO came into this thing with an agenda to avoid those awkward/painful issues by nipping us in the bud, so to speak. Or, perhaps DIL's FOO is enmeshed and insecure, who knows? It didn't matter how welcoming or helpful we were, we were dropped by them as soon as the ink was dry on the certificate. To justify her/her FOOs stance we became hated & literally shunned for "who we were" (not uber-successful, not A-list, not status-oriented) since she/they really had nothing real to complain about and everyone knew it.

That said, there have been a few times when my DIL has seemed to be trying to get through an encounter with us civilly. She has been nice to DDD occasionally. For those times I am grateful & have let DIL/DS know it. Unfortunately we've been burned when we've let our guard down thinking all was well; so, we keep it light and don't go below the surface. DH & I wait for them to initiate communication except very rarely and only when absolutely necessary so as not to be seen as hovering or overbearing. I miss having a more honest & real relationship w/DS & DIL (how I looked forward to having a new, adult relationship w/DS!), and I yearn for what might have been.

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

Offline Lillycache

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Re: I know it's MY problem.
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2013, 07:05:53 AM »
All I would like is to have the same relationship with my son... the same contact and the same inclusion as his wife has with her family.   That to me doesn't seem like a whole lot to ask..  He, after all is MY son.  I am HIS FOO.  Yet somehow, that is seen as intrusive and overbearing.   I'm not sure why that is..  I'm not sure why the mission for many young women is to eliminate their husband's FOO from the picture and absorb him into their FOO.. BUT it certainly seems so.  Is it a "woman's" thing?  Is it a competition?  Why are battlelines drawn?  It certainly seems to be a "woman's" thing.  Give it a google.. See how many websites are dedicted to men complaining about their FILs and SILs...