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New here: Quick question

Started by breckgirl5, August 25, 2014, 07:24:23 pm

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Hello wise ladies... I am new here and don't want to get into too much of my backstory because it could bore you to tears, but I will tell you I have a 21YO Stepson who lives with his GF and the GF has started criticizing my parenting style by saying things about how her own upbringing was superior to my SS's upbringing, etc. etc... we did raise my stepson with "tough love" because he was a very lazy, unmotivated child and we couldn't be "sweet" all the time because he didn't respond to "sweet." So, we may come across as "cold" at times. (We have eased off since he has left the house...we're much nicer now.. at least I think so.. apparently she does not.)

The other night, GF said something to me - again - about how we "talk to" my SS. I finally told her to "not discuss my relationship with SS, because it's really none of your business." I told her that in 17 years of marriage I have never confronted my in laws about what I perceive to be their shortcomings in the parenting department. It's not my place to do that (it's my DH's, if he chooses to do so), and it's not her place to do this for my Stepson. I told her that if SS has a problem with DH or me.. he needs to confront those demons himself. It's not her problem to fix.

Am I off base? Do these GF's have a right to judge our relationships with our adult sons/daughters and try to "Fix" it somehow.. or is she out of line as I think she is?

I stay out of her relationship, she needs to stay out of mine (with SS).


Welcome, B. We ask all new members to go to our HomePage and under Read Me First, to read the four posts placed there for you. Please pay special attention to the Forum Agreement to be sure WWU is a fit. We're a monitored forum.

My take is the GF is not interested in what you think. She sounds pretty fascinated in what she thinks. In such circumstances, I agree that boundaries have to be set. If she likes your SS, then you must have done something right. She should be thanking you.

Constructive criticism is something we may occasionally ask of a person we know and trust.
You seem singularly unimpressed with her voluntary offerings...for good reason. I would take a stand without engaging further. By that, I mean, I would not give her the dignity of a response. You've previously said your piece. Beyond that, I'd smile and say, 'Is there anything else you would like to discuss?' If she repeated it or came up with something similar, I would repeat myself. I'm serious. My guess is that dialoguing with her is pointless. If SS enters the picture via her complaining to him that you are rude...I would tell him that you are not going to discuss him with a third party but you are totally open and willing to chat with him. Sending hugs...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


My Aunt once told me about my cousin's wife getting on to her about his table manners and my Aunt told her "Honey, I spent 20 years teaching him to eat with a fork and spoon, the rest is up to you!".  The truth about the matter is that parents only get about 20 years to shape our children and it totally amazes me that 30 or 40 years later the children want to come out and blame the parents still.  Come on!  You have been an adult for longer than you lived in my house!  If you have not been able to fix it yet, what am I supposed to do about it now? 

It sounds like your SS fell for a really controlling woman.  She won't even let him speak for himself.  My reply to her every time she said something about how I treated him would be "Really?  He never told me.  My hasn't the weather been _____ lately!"   Good luck!!
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
Author unknown


Call me old fashioned... call me crazy, but it certainly sounds a bit cheeky AND rude for her to voice her opinions to you about that.  Bold as Brass  IMO.    I think you handled it well in setting your boundries now.. but word to the wise??....Get ready!..  She doesn't seem like the type who is going to take the hint.  I can see some rough seas ahead.  I think you have been given some pretty good strategies to handling it.


August 26, 2014, 11:37:06 am #4 Last Edit: August 26, 2014, 11:38:48 am by Pooh
Call me snarky but I would have said, "Oh my goodness.  You are so right!  I didn't realize how bad of parents we are.  Thank you so much for making me realize it.  Oh my goodness...I'm glad you figured it out because you have time to run now!  It must be terrible to be dating such a bad person that wasn't raised right.  It must be a nightmare living with him, I'm glad you figured it our before you got to involved...run...run...RUN!  Now, do you want coke or tea?"

Ok...Ok...that's what I would want to say, but I would have done exactly what you did. Welcome.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


Thank you, ladies! I already feel better reading your reponses. For a few days I thought maybe I was missing something and kept 2nd guessing myself. I totally agree that I need to continue setting boundaries and I will NOT discuss my SM/SS relationship with anyone other than DH and/or SS himself.  Likewise, I will bite my tongue and sit on my hands when it comes to the GF/SS relationship - to date, I haven't gotten involved (proud of myself) and will continue NOT to be involved with that...DH is doing the same.. even though we have witnessed GF being very controlling. With her and I it's like the pot (GF) calling the kettle (ME) black - BIG TIME.

Luise- I followed your advice and went to the posts on "Home."  Thank you! I do think this forum is a good fit for me. And yes, GF is Not interested in me whatsoever. She's a conversational narcissist and probably a borderline actual narcissist. She constantly boasts about how mature she is for a 24YO.. and all I can do is smile and nod (secretly I chuckle internally..because I know it's not true). The conversation is ALWAYS about her. It makes me very sad that SS (a humble, kind person) has chosen her (at least for now), and honestly I am hoping this relationship ends, but she seems to have quite a hold over him so I need to keep the peace just in case this GF is around for years to come.  :(

Stilllearning - I love the story about your aunt. My SS has HORRIBLE table manners despite my nagging him about it for YEARS. He still refuses to put his napkin in his lap... and I just know that I'm getting the blame for this in the GF/SS apartment. LOL. I can just hear GF now, "Didn't your parents teach you ANYthing about table manners?" Sigh. Poor SS. (I never felt sorry for him until he started dating this girl.)

Lillycache - I was wondering the same thing, "Am I old fashioned?"..... I don't think so... none of my friends (still in their 30s and 40s) with successful marriages have ever confronted their in-laws about parenting style - unless of course the in-laws were intereferin with grandchildren - which is a different story. Even my brother, who found out 20 years into his marriage that his FIL had sexually abused his DW all through high school... my bro wanted to murder FIL (understandably).. but instead, he let DW handle it and confront her own demons. He stayed out of it on the advice of several therapists... and that was really the better road to take for their marriage.

Pooh - Yes.. please run, GF!!!!! LOL. That's what I am secretly waiting and hoping for. He is still pretty lazy and unmotivated, but he's getting better (something SHE takes complete credit for). I am hoping that he remains somewhat lazy - to the point that she just can't take it anymore and runs! LOL!


Breck, wowza ... no, you're NOT off-base here, and she is definitely way out of line.
I think you've already handled it pretty well!
I wouldn't accept this behavior from my own AC, much less his GF.
Sounds like she's brass/bold. Hope she will listen to you and learn proper boundaries.
Hang in there!


Quote from: shiny on August 26, 2014, 12:29:53 pm
Breck, wowza ... no, you're NOT off-base here, and she is definitely way out of line.
I think you've already handled it pretty well!
I wouldn't accept this behavior from my own AC, much less his GF.
Sounds like she's brass/bold. Hope she will listen to you and learn proper boundaries.
Hang in there!

Thanks, Shiny! Yep.. she's brash and bold alright and even pulled the old, "Well, I just speak my mind" when I told her to essentially back off... as if to say that I am weak or something for not speaking MY mind to MY in-laws. The whole thing is hilarious because she talks incessantly about how mature she is and how she's held so many more jobs and lived on her own so much longer than the average 24YO. (Seriously, I have heard this same story 10 times.)

She also adopted a dog she cannot afford to neuter or board. What I feel like saying (but won't) is..."Really? Well when I was 24 I was mature enough to KNOW that I should not be adopting a dog I cannot afford. Maturity is less about experiences and more about mindset and the ability to think before you do something stupid or speak disrespectfully to people twice your age."