Author Topic: Other side of the coin.  (Read 1252 times)

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Offline stilltrying2010

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Other side of the coin.
« on: June 11, 2010, 07:02:22 AM »
I have been here reading multiple posts from MILs DILs - on every topic.  I am thinking my own MIL could be here posting about what a hateful DIL I am.  The thing is, my feelings are never a consideration or how her actions impact me/my family.  I feel I am stuck in a negative rut with her and I AM withdrawn because I am trying to protect myself from her barbs.  Does that make me an insecure DIL? Is MY negative energy creating this or just contributing?

For each stab I feel from MIL I could say she feels one back from me.  Some I can say are the ILs way of being it is just who they are (very negative people).  But their negativity seems to turn off when they talk to certain people.  Its just exhausting having them suck the life out of me. Complaining, negative, comparisons… it is their “norm”.

 I’m sure they could say make a list of the things I do/don’t do that hurt them.  I do send the same pictures, cards, etc to them as I do my own parents.  I just talk to me parents who treat me as an adult.  I generally do not speak to my DHs side of the family.   I have tried calling MIL but all she does is brag about her daughters children or criticize the stepgrandkids/their parents.  Anything I do tell her is spread throughout the family.  Why do people we never talk to need to know our business?  When my DD was an infant she had a virus and failed to gain weight.  She ate but had diarrhea (looked like guacamole lol). It lasted 6wks & we were monitored by our pedi sometimes twice a wk.  It was scary.  We live with no family near us, 1st time parents.  Anyway, 1 of DH’s aunts called and said: MIL said the baby has failure to thrive?  This is just one example of twisting words.  Should it have hurt so much? Probably not but we were scared, alone, and she embellished the story the garner attention for herself at our expense.  There have been times when MIL called me (as I think  everyone there new the story) and said: You know stepFILs sister’s ex husband?  Me: No. Well he was in an accident blahblahblah.  Just needed fresh ears I guess.

I know I am score keeping and keeping a list of all their perceived misdeeds. Many of those misdeeds hurt me.  Like when she had a birthday party for our dd 6 wks before her bday after we said No and then didn’t include any of my family to boot.  We said no for several reasons –we were flying & couldn’t physically carry gifts back (not enough hands). Also we didn’t want dd to associate seeing her family with getting stuff.  So she lied to us and invited everyone over as a surprise party.  We found out accidentally & told her we made plans for that night so have dinner out so she fessed up.  We should have followed through on it! SO there I got to be angry bitchy ungrateful DIL while she got what she wanted.  Was it nice of MIL to want to do that for our daughter, yes.  You know what MIL gave her – wooden blocks.  Then said Are these the kind you couldn’t find?” Actually they weren’t but I said yes, thank you. Then paid to ship stuff we didn’t home (since we couldn’t carry it). 

I know that I have to change my reaction but how does one do that when I am bombarded with incidents that just compound?  As you can see I cant write without going back into a vast collection of hurts, ignoring, meddling, criticizing tidbits… how do I stop this?

How do I shut these past slights out of my brain and stop future ones from happening?

cremebrulee

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Re: Other side of the coin.
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2010, 07:46:48 AM »
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stilltrying2010
I have been here reading multiple posts from MILs DILs - on every topic.  I am thinking my own MIL could be here posting about what a hateful DIL I am.  The thing is, my feelings are never a consideration or how her actions impact me/my family.  I feel I am stuck in a negative rut with her and I AM withdrawn because I am trying to protect myself from her barbs.  Does that make me an insecure DIL? Is MY negative energy creating this or just contributing?


Hello and welcome!  ;D

You think that she is here posting, b/c people who have this problem, well it ususally runs the same patterns...if you had a husband who was running around on you, and you went into a site that was put together for wives.....you'd find, that most of the stories would be parallel, as far as the actions of the husbands who run around....now please, I do know that wives run around to, I'm not being one sided here....or prejudice....LOL.....anyway...when you read stories that DIL's tell about the actions of they're mol's, you'll find yourself saying, OMG...my mother in law acts like that....it's a behavioral pattern...or the way specific people respond or act...it would be the same with alcoholics....it's usually a parallel pattern.  And no, you are not insecure, however, your frustrated, probably walking on egg shells, cringe at the very thought of being around these people....and yes, your negativity will show....it's inevitable...you know how animals are able to pic up feelings from humans, same thing, your sending off an energy...however, it is very very difficult to be around negative people....it is....

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For each stab I feel from MIL I could say she feels one back from me.  Some I can say are the ILs way of being it is just who they are (very negative people).  But their negativity seems to turn off when they talk to certain people.  Its just exhausting having them suck the life out of me. Complaining, negative, comparison's it is their “norm”.

It is how they were bought up to think and feel, chances are, both of them had parents who were the same way and they really believe this is the way most people are...unless someone calls them on it, and tells them right out, it's wrong of them to think and feel that way, however, if and when someone does, it literally tears them apart, b/c what happens is, they think your telling them they're whole being is wrong, everything they grew up to believe how to be is wrong....its really a shame when you sit down and think about it....looking at the bigger picture of this...however, please know, I don't envy you and cannot give you any suggestions...most people do not want to be around people like this....so your not feeling anything abnormally or wrong....but what does your husband say about them?  Is he somewhat like them?  Or was he one of those aware kids who grew up feeling, he didn't ever want to be like them?

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I'm sure they could say make a list of the things I do/don't do that hurt them.  I do send the same pictures, cards, etc to them as I do my own parents.  I just talk to me parents who treat me as an adult.  I generally do not speak to my DHs side of the family.   I have tried calling MIL but all she does is brag about her daughters children or criticize the stepgrandkids/their parents.  Anything I do tell her is spread throughout the family.  Why do people we never talk to need to know our business?  When my DD was an infant she had a virus and failed to gain weight.  She ate but had diarrhea (looked like guacamole lol). It lasted 6wks & we were monitored by our pedi sometimes twice a wk.  It was scary.  We live with no family near us, 1st time parents.  Anyway, 1 of DH’s aunts called and said: MIL said the baby has failure to thrive?  This is just one example of twisting words.  Should it have hurt so much? Probably not but we were scared, alone, and she embellished the story the garner attention for herself at our expense.  There have been times when MIL called me (as I think  everyone there new the story) and said: You know stepFILs sister's ex husband?  Me: No. Well he was in an accident blahblahblah.  Just needed fresh ears I guess.


I believe most of us, would want these people kept at a distance, please don't feel bad b/c you don't want to be around them...most people would surely stay away from them if they saw them coming....there are big problems existing within they're way of caring tails and repeating privet information....

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I know I am score keeping and keeping a list of all their perceived misdeeds. Many of those misdeeds hurt me.  Like when she had a birthday party for our dd 6 wks before her bday after we said No and then didn’t include any of my family to boot.  We said no for several reasons –we were flying & couldn’t physically carry gifts back (not enough hands). Also we didn’t want dd to associate seeing her family with getting stuff.  So she lied to us and invited everyone over as a surprise party.  We found out accidentally & told her we made plans for that night so have dinner out so she fessed up.  We should have followed through on it! SO there I got to be angry bitchy ungrateful DIL while she got what she wanted.  Was it nice of MIL to want to do that for our daughter, yes.  You know what MIL gave her – wooden blocks.  Then said Are these the kind you couldn’t find?” Actually they weren’t but I said yes, thank you. Then paid to ship stuff we didn’t home (since we couldn’t carry it). 



you had every right to feel that way, you told her no, and she lied to you and did it anyway....
however, I can also see her side of it, being the Grandmother, wanting to give to her grandchild.....but it was wrong of her to go against your wishes....yes....however, try not to let it get to you so....rather, understand, your never going to get her to see your point of view....so try and recondition yourself and your attitude, by saying, "Oh well, that's the way she is, she's never going to change".  I'm not telling you to make your self a victim....and I'm not siding with her....what I'm telling you is the only way I know, to make it easier on yourself...and, know this, she may very well, also be pushing your buttons on purpose, maybe not...so, try not and buy into some of this stuff so that it upsets you so. 


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I know that I have to change my reaction but how does one do that when I am bombarded with incidents that just compound?  As you can see I cant write without going back into a vast collection of hurts, ignoring, meddling, criticizing tidbits… how do I stop this?


It's difficult...but you will eventually do it, b/c you want to do so...it also comes with age....the older you grow, the less things bother you....I can look back now on things my MIL did to me, which really really upset me into a rage, and now, l laugh to myself and wonder how in the world I let those things bother me so much, small potatoes compared to other things I've experienced....and perhaps that is the answer....are you a stay at home mom?  I'm suggesting to get involved in something for you, something you enjoy doing, something very positive that you have just for "ME" time, and it will give you something to look forward to....maybe a part time job if your not working, or a hobby, or a walk in the park, or a class, or something, anything that gives you quality "Me" time....getting involved in something else....gives problems a whole new face lift.... ;D


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How do I shut these past slights out of my brain and stop future ones from happening?

You can't stop future situations from happening, b/c you can't control other people, however, you can recondition your own mind and body to learn to let these things roll off you...to just roll the eyebrow and that's it....and I believe it comes with a lot of practice, self control, patience, and do diligence on your part....

yanno, no matter who we meet in life, I really really believe from even the bad people, there is something very important in that situation for you to learn....there always is for me....it's called self examination....which will help you understand, life is life and people are people, and may not always be fair, we can't change them, but we certainly can change the way we react towards negativity...

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Other side of the coin.
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2010, 08:22:16 AM »
I see the need for some distance and some recovery time. The dynamics between you and your MIL look to me like they are becoming a self-fulfilling prophesy. Is your husband supportive? You will need his support if you call a time-out. That's what I would do. I'd let them know that I was pulling back because I needed to. No excuses or blame. And then that's what I would do whether they liked t or not. I wouldn't respond to their reactions. I would just send another copy of my initial email or snail-mail reiterating my decision to pull back and get off the merry-go-round. You need room to process this in peace. I also think your need an advocate, like a really good counselor. (Many aren't) Sending love...

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Orly

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Re: Other side of the coin.
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2010, 08:26:10 AM »
  You are keeping the lines of communication open, giving information to your in-laws on a regular basis and visiting in person.  It is on them if they won't listen and get the information correct, thus passing on erroneous facts (failure to thrive vs not gaining weight due to illness).   Correct the information when it comes back to you.  Giving a valid reason (or several) for NOT wanting a b-day party thrown for your daughter, weeks in advance of her actual b-day, your MIL stepped over and did a no-no.....keeping to your scheduled plans would have been the way to go and let her deal with her guests on her own, IMO.  Since this event is past history stop fuming over it....you can't get it back for a do-over.  For most of your list, can you go back in time for a do-over on those either?  No.  Try and stop reviewing them in your mind....doing them over in your head isn't going to help your mental health.  If you are going to be "damned if you do or damned if you don't", then it is time to stop worrying about the outcome.  State your reasons and continue with your planned activities.  Keep them in the loop, stop fretting over what they might do, and deal with it as it occurs.

Offline Scoop

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Re: Other side of the coin.
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2010, 08:35:27 AM »
StillTrying - sometimes it's a matter of understanding where the other party is coming from or how they operate.

Two of the ideas that have really helped me understand my MIL are:

1 - the concept of direct talkers and indirect talkers.   That direct talkers just tell it like it is and indirect talkers hint and suggest.  Usually direct talkers feel like they're being manipulated by indirect talkers and indirect talkers often feel attacked or insulted by direct talkers.  Now, the important part is that neither way is WRONG, it's just different.  As a direct talker, I've realized that my MIL is an indirect talker and she is in fact NOT trying to manipulate me, that's just her 'voice'.  And because I WANT to have a better relationship with my MIL, I've learned to modulate how I speak to her.  The reason *I* have to do this, is because *I* am the only person that *I* have control over.

2 - the concept of askers versus guessers.  "Some people ask for what they want even if they think the answer might be no and other people don't ask for anything unless they know the answer will be yes. When those two types of people interact, look out."  This is a new one for me, so I'm still digesting it.  But I'm always shocked at the things my MIL "asks" from us.  But if you look at it as, she's an asker, I'm a guesser - it makes sense.

Also, you should read the book "The Dance of Anger" by Harriet Lerner.  Because if you're still mad about something, it's because you either under-reacted or over-reacted.  The book explains that UNDER-reacting is just as bad as OVER-reacting.  That when you under-react, you end up holding on to resentment and it builds and builds, until you OVER-react over something small.  Also, if you react appropriately, the feeling is AWESOME, you don't feel guilty for going overboard, but you also don't feel 'walked on' and you have ZERO resentment. 

In order to move forward, forgive yourself for the times when you under-reacted and make a vow to move forward reacting appropriately.

Sassy

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Re: Other side of the coin.
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2010, 09:14:59 AM »
For getting rid of old thoughts, venting helps.  Getting it out of you.  Writing it (for yourself, never to send).   Set yourself a block of time each night (or morning) to purge.  Journaling, write and pitch legal pads, typing, whatever your way.  When you find yourself repeating injuries during precious moments, remind yourself you'll be allowed to focus on that issue later (your daily block time), and to bring yourself back into the present moment and people you're with now. 
 
Luise drafts letters-never-to-send in a word document program. She says she'll write and rewrite it, until the thoughts and resentments can evaporate.
Luise also writes daily gratitude lists to balance out the mind's focus on negative thoughts.  Lists of every tiny blessing and thing to be thankful for that day.
You'll find youself using more brain space looking for blessings.  Luise is Wise, indeed!
 


For stopping future ones from happening.  Besides asking MIL not to host an early birthday party, have you or your DH talked to MIL or FIL about some things you'd like to change for yourself?   When you do let them know your plans, do you trust you will be able to follow through for yourselves?   I said to myself at the same time as I read your words that said:  should have followed through on it!   The challenge for you seems to be, Why did you both decide to not maintain your own limit?  Were you afraid of DH being sad, if he had to let his mom down.  Do you think his mom had sort of counted on DH acting on his fear of guilt feelings that way.  Does it seem MIL planned her party fairly secure in the knowledge that the limit wouldn't be maintained.

DH and I both talk to our minister, sometimes together.  We're always reminded "You're only in control of you."  You, and DH can set your limits. Of what you'll spend your time doing and tolerating.  Then it's up to you to decide your personal limits, and totally up to you to be steady in maintaining them.

One limit my DH has with his mother, is that he won't listen to MIL complain about me.  He tells her his wife is an off-limit subject if he can't say something nice.  He's told her when she brings it up, he asks one time, for her to talk about something else.  What happens though is once MIL starts on the topic of me, she usually doesn't stop, even when asked. So then he says "I've got to go now" and then he says goodbye.  He's walked out of lunches.  (Plural.  More than one lunch.) He usually gets angry calls later from his Aunt or Grandmother, and he says "GM, I love you, but this is isn't something you need to worry yourself about.  I love mom and we're working things through."  It's probably worth noting here that neither Aunt nor Grandmother attended our wedding, in an joint effort to pressure us to stop maintaining the limits we set with MIL.  So yes, I understand it's not easy to maintain a limit.  But it's our limit to maintain.  No one else's.   

Given your MIL's history, I personally wouldn't expect anything I said to her to be confidential.  If you do think MIL can provide emotional support during a tough time, ask her not to repeat what you share, some people need to be told specifically to keep it between us, or its considered fair game.  If you find out she shared anyway, then accept she's a gossip girl.  Then you know before you even say a word to her, that 5 twisted versions of what you're about to say will come back to you.  The limit of what you share with a gossip girl, is up to you to maintain.

One useful limit would be the length of time your ILs visit.  DH knows how insulted you feel when they treat you like B&B. He must feel hurt, not because of you, by hurt that he sees his side of the family not treating you like family.  You hurt because you love him, and you do want his family's love and acceptance.  If you didn't care about them, what they say and do wouldn't hurt.  Reducing the visit time down to a single weekend when DH is home would probably present less opportunity for hurtful exchanges for everyone, then set that limit for yourselves.  Next time they mention they want to come, let them know your limit.  And maintain that limit.   Your ILs may book plane tickets for two weeks anyway, depending on DH not wanting to upset them to override the stated limit.  After the ILs spend hundreds of dollars (on lost tickets, or on hotels for their remaining days) once, it probably won't happen a second time.    It's your limit to maintain, despite pressure from those who do not want you to have any personal limits.   Trust in yourself that you can maintain it.  If you don't maintain that limit, no one will.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2010, 09:45:43 AM by Sassy »

Offline stilltrying2010

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Re: Other side of the coin.
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2010, 05:09:25 PM »
Thank you for your responses.  To answer several questions: my husband knows how I feel, he will point out the same annoying things his Mother does.  He is not a negative person but after being around them for long amounts of time, I see him change, slumped shoulders, not really talking, zoned out... maybe it's his childhood escape method.

Also, I do work as a teacher (not just home obsessing lol).  However, ILs were just here for 2 wks (school let out on a thur they arrived on a sunday) and we will be travelling to their area over the summer.  My husband & I live across country from our families but our families live only 1 hr from eachother.  Thus when you visit 1 you visit both.  My husband & I have been "discussing" how to split the time.  He insists I go with him to his parents.  I don't know if it is to act as his buffer or so they don't spread gossip about our marriage or what but I am not looking forward to it.  He will want to split the time 50-50, even though they were just here (that would be a wk with each family!)  I think I am going to just schedule things for us to do while keeping their town home base as in be there but not be there.

I can't thank you posters for their input - it helps to have people comment with what they see.  I printed a hard copy out to add to my collection of helpfulthoughts! Thank you thank you thank you.