Author Topic: I guess now it is happening for sure  (Read 8283 times)

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Offline Lauren

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I guess now it is happening for sure
« on: December 08, 2013, 04:46:51 PM »
I didn’t have a chance to thank everyone for all the advice and support I received on my previous post. I’m sorry that my post caused so many problems to the point that Luise had to lock it. I had asked for advice on another website about the same issue but I was attacked over there, so I was very glad to find this forum. The problem is that some people from the other website found my post here and decided to start attacking me here too. Thank you Luise and Pooh for resolving the situation.

I’m venturing to post again about my isuue because things have now gotten worse and I really need advice. I was planning to follow some of the suggestions I got here and drop one of my visits to my son next year, so that I would only visit once. I called him today to arrange that visit, only to be told that he and his wife have decided that they don’t want to have any visitors next year neither from her family or his (me). I was so in shock that I didn’t have much of a reaction but now I’m starting to panic. I never thought that DIL would succeed in separating me from my son and I don’t know what to do at this point. Should I just drop the issue and try to arrange a visit again after next year, or do you all think I should call back and try to convince my son to let me go over there just once next year? I’m really worried since this is so unlike him. Thanks for any input.

Offline elsieshaye

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Re: I guess now it is happening for sure
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2013, 04:58:14 PM »
Lauren,  I know for myself that when I focus on other people (why they're doing what they're doing, what I can do to "make" them do it differently, what their actions may "mean", etc.) that I make myself utterly miserable.  My son has estranged himself from several people in the family, including me, his father, and his aunt.  There are a number of reasons for this, including a drug problem, but the bottom line is that he's an adult and can set the parameters of his own life even if they don't include me.  I'm also an adult, and (as Luise says) I was a complete person before I had my son, and I'm still a complete person now that he's grown and flown.  Doesn't mean I always know what to do with myself, but over the past couple of years, I've really come to appreciate being able to live my life on my own terms, and not just in relation to his needs / preferences / actions. 

Some questions I found useful when I was faced with the idea of not having contact with my son:  What do you think about the idea of just stepping back from him completely for a little while and focusing on yourself and your life as a person separate from motherhood?  If you thought you might want to do that, what do you think it might look like for you?  Is there something you've always wanted to do that you thought might be too time consuming or take you away from your mom role or from being available to visit / call your son regularly?  What is it about not visiting him that fills you with such panic?  (Panic was true for me as well, and I had to really examine what it was that I thought would happen to me, and to him, if I wasn't in contact with him.)
This too shall pass.  All is well.

Offline Stilllearning

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Re: I guess now it is happening for sure
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2013, 05:10:24 PM »
Oh Lauren, it sounds to me like you are trying to figure things out without all of the facts.  Something is happening with your DS and DIL and you have no idea what.  My take is that they need some space and the more willingly you give it the better.  I would offer to come over and stay with the kids for your DS/DIL to take a vacation.....maybe you would see them for a little while that way and your DS&DIL could get away for a while.  Make sure it is an offer and whether they take you up on it or not is entirely up to them.  Make the offer as open ended as you can.  Be supportive, cross your fingers and wait. 

Oh, and Elsiehaye is right.....you need to focus on doing something you like.  If you don't spend the money going to visit them what fun things can you afford?
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
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Offline luise.volta

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Re: I guess now it is happening for sure
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2013, 05:29:25 PM »
I would go for respect. Even if my wishes weren't being respected...I would respect his. He has the right to set boundaries without dialogue. Many of us here, as you have read, have found within us...a dormant self ready to surface with a little coaxing. What is...is. What can we do beyond that...where we actually get to vote?
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline Lauren

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Re: I guess now it is happening for sure
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2013, 07:09:24 PM »
Thanks ladies. The reason why I feel this panic is because now it feels even more real that my son is trying to cut me out of his life. I think he told me that his wife’s relatives are not allowed to visit either next year just to soften the blow. Her family has visited them only a handful of times since they moved so it is not even likely that they would have visited next year, the only person who has been consistently visiting them all this time has been me.

Offline Elise

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Re: I guess now it is happening for sure
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2013, 09:38:53 PM »
I agree with Louise - it seems respecting his decision might be the wisest course. If I understand correctly, it sounds like he didn't solicit your opinion of what he or they were thinking about visitors, rather he told you what they had decided. Hopefully after a year he will want you to visit again. In the meantime, would Skype calls be something to consider or request?  I look forward to Skype calls with my ds and his family since they live far away. I am sorry for the pain this is causing you.

Offline MountainGirl

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Re: I guess now it is happening for sure
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2013, 10:36:20 PM »
Their reasons for declining visitors may have nothing to do with you.  Perhaps there are issues in the marriage, they genuinely need a break from playing tour guide to friends and family, or want to save their holidays for a larger vacation.  It's easier said than done to not take it personally though. This may be a blessing in disguise, and give you the opportunity to do some travelling on your own.

I'm curious how often they take family vacations on their own, and how often they come home to visit?

Have you talked to your DS about your concerns?  Maybe give it a bit of time before you speak with him next, let him know how you feel and you think some distance is needed. Let them come to you when they're ready.

Offline miamilady

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Re: I guess now it is happening for sure
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2013, 03:19:08 AM »
I'm sorry you won't be visiting your son next year.

I'm not sure if this will change your DS & DILs mind about you visiting, but have you tried apologizing???  I read your last post and TBH I think you made some classic MIL mistakes...

1. you never liked your DIL, but insisted that she spend the entire visit with you.
2. you came twice a year for ten days each.

I couldn't help but wonder why if you never liked your DIL would you insist that she spend time with you? Also, did your DS invite you on these trips or did you invite yourself? Frankly, I would resent it if someone insisted on me spending time with them even for one day, let alone 20.
I'd also resent it if someone came over uninvited. If your son put up with this for 15 years, then he must really love you... 

I have a clingy MIL that likes to visit and stay for two weeks, and spend every second with us. If you can tell us why you did this, maybe it will give me some insight as to why my MIL does it.

BTW, there is nothing wrong with apologizing. In fact, it takes a big person to apologize and may even mend your relationship with your DS & DIL.

Offline freespirit

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Re: I guess now it is happening for sure
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2013, 05:57:38 AM »
How about just writing them a note stating, you understand that they need time for themselves. Don't say,  - I’ll miss you -, can’t wait to see you in 2 years, or how sad this has made you.

Be cool about it, and even if it kills you; be  cheerful. ;D

They will appreciate it so much, that you will probably get close to them again..
The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.
            -- Michel de Montaigne

Offline Lillycache

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Re: I guess now it is happening for sure
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2013, 06:55:10 AM »
Lauren... you have absolutely NOTHING you need to feel bad about or apolgize for..   There is nothing at all wrong with wanting to see your family and to be with them, and if you don't know what other sins you are supposedly guilty of, how can you apologize.. and more accurately  WHY would you?  IMO, the only thing you are guilty of is having expectations and desires of closeness that are not the same as theirs,  for whatever reason.  My advise to you is to back off.. give them space, and certainly don't cry or beg.  That is only going to honk them off even more.  You could say that you really enjoyed your visits and you are sorry that that you will not be able to see them this year.  Then,   I would just tell them that whatever they want is fine with you and to contact you when they are ready to have a visit from you  and leave it go at that.  Suppose they don't?  Well, what can you do about it?  Nothing.   Take your time processing this situation.  Come here for support and caring.. and work on YOUR life and on doing things that will make YOU happy and bring you comfort and peace. 

Offline Pooh

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Re: I guess now it is happening for sure
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2013, 07:18:57 AM »
I'm seconding what some of the others said.  You are not going to like it, but you need to respect what they are asking.  I wouldn't ask anything about visiting again, but leave it with a simple, "I understand.  Well let me know if you ever decide you're up for visitors."  I would never bring it up again.  Sometimes, not always, respecting the other's boundaries will actually make them want to visit or invite you later on.  Maybe not.  I also would suggest you not make the weekly phone calls and leave that up to DS as well.  I know you feel that you are trying to keep the relationship alive and I totally understand that, but it takes both sides to keep it going and right now, you are the only one trying. 

I have seen several people comment on the 10 day thing.  I do think 10 days with anyone is way to long to stay in the same house, even if the people get along.  But I do think there is one dynamic everyone is missing here in regards to Lauren's situation.  Cost of going overseas.  If I was spending that type of money on a flight (which is normally your huge expense), I would be staying several days as well.  I say this, because I will probably be in this situation in the future as DS may get stationed overseas.  I can see where I would stay for several days due to expense.  I could not afford to pay that type of flight money and only stay for 2-3 days.  I would only be able to afford it maybe once a year, so I would want to stay several days.

Now, I'm in a different situation than you Lauren in regards to my YS/DIL.  I get along with them and let her live with us for a year while he was deployed.  So I wouldn't have any qualms staying with them for several days.  Now, if I was in your situation where I didn't get along with DIL, I wouldn't stay with them and would only go if I could afford to stay off-site, if invited.  If I wasn't being invited by either of them, then I would save my money and do something nice for myself.  I tend to like the Caribbean.  ;D
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline Lillycache

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Re: I guess now it is happening for sure
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2013, 07:41:45 AM »
Quote
I have seen several people comment on the 10 day thing.  I do think 10 days with anyone is way to long to stay in the same house, even if the people get along.  But I do think there is one dynamic everyone is missing here in regards to Lauren's situation.  Cost of going overseas.  If I was spending that type of money on a flight (which is normally your huge expense), I would be staying several days as well.  I say this, because I will probably be in this situation in the future as DS may get stationed overseas.  I can see where I would stay for several days due to expense.  I could not afford to pay that type of flight money and only stay for 2-3 days.  I would only be able to afford it maybe once a year, so I would want to stay several days.

I was thinking this as well Pooh.   Unless you are made of money, who can afford to fly to Europe from the States and stay only a day or two.   With the price of airfare, I sure would be staying several weeks.  Also, I could not afford it every year, let alone twice a year.   I can understand why the length of the visits.  AND I can understand Lauren's position of wanting to spend that time with her family rather than strike off on her own for sightseeing. 

Hey.. Ladies...  last year we all went on our imaginary cruise for the Holidays!!  Louise.. any chance we could get that ship back for another trip?   


Offline miamilady

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Re: I guess now it is happening for sure
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2013, 09:02:39 AM »
sorry lilly,

i really didn't mean to hurt  your feelings or anyone eles's. i realize this is a very sensitive topic and i'll try to be a little more sympathetic next time.

if its alright, i'd still love for lauran to answer my original questions... i truly believe it can help DILs like me understand why a MIL might do those things. it might even help some of the MILs too.

i hope my advise on apologizing wasn't hurtful, i just really thought it might help. i've had to apologize many times in my life, and i always feel great after doing so. kind of like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders... plus i really do think that as long as there was no major damage done (like murder) most people are open enough to appreciate (an accept) a sinsere apology. it might even help them to start anew.


Offline Pooh

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Re: I guess now it is happening for sure
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2013, 09:18:56 AM »
My personal opinion is that apologies can go a long way in any situation, if the other party is receptive to the apologies. 

I do think many good intentions, by both DILs and MILs backfire.  I can see where Lauren thought she was doing a good thing by wanting DIL present, thinking it would be great to have the whole family together.  I can see where DIL could feel like that was too demanding.  I get both sides.  I too make apologies, even when I do something that wasn't meant to be taken as it was, but still caused issues or hurt feelings. 

I quit apologizing when the other party isn't receptive, uses it for future gain or takes the apology as an admittance that I am always wrong and they are always right.

It's not about being right or wrong.  It's about compromise, accepting each other's differences and realizing that people have to have give-and-take to make any relationship work. 
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline luise.volta

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Re: I guess now it is happening for sure
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2013, 09:39:55 AM »
M - How about sharing your own experience. We often learn from each other that way better than question and answer or abstract advice. Many of us arrive pretty thin-skinned and sensitive for obvious reasons. Thanks.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama