Author Topic: No Win deal  (Read 8919 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Monroe

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 165
    • View Profile
No Win deal
« on: May 26, 2015, 09:09:50 PM »
It has finally sunk in.  I think some MILs are simply dealt a no-win hand.  Sure, some MILs are difficult - but not all of us are.  And some DILs are wonderful.  I think the DILs that come to this site (WWU) are well-intentioned and seeking good relationships with their MILs, if I may engage in a generalization. 

But what opened my eyes was surfing the web, and coming across another forum, which seemed to be devoted to simply bashing the MIL.  I read a few threads, and was thinking to myself - that poor woman (MIL) the poster (DIL) is talking about never had a chance.   I looked at the complaints as posted by the DIL, and found myself thinking that the MIL had not done anything wrong - but the DIL did not see it that way.  The posts were vitriolic and hateful.  Obviously the moderators did not follow Luise's rules! 

I'm not saying my DIL is vitriolic.  She is not (to my knowledge).  She is simply indifferent.  Her choice.  But looking at the hateful site made me see for the first time that some MILs never are given a chance.  I certainly have not been.   She is totally indifferent to me as a person - and nothing I can ever do will ever change that.   

If all I had to judge by were the sincere, caring DILs one finds here, I might never have come to that realization.   But some MILs simply never have a chance.   I see it now.   

Offline luise.volta

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8905
  • Luise Volta
    • View Profile
    • Wise Women Unite
Re: No Win deal
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2015, 09:54:54 PM »
M., I agree and I think it is also true that some DILs simply can't win; it works both ways.

When I started this forum years ago, it was because I got so many questions on my Website, www.MomResponds.com , regarding misunderstood MILS. I realized it wasn't a question and answer situation and my venue wasn't suited to address it. I first called my second Website: www. MotherInLawsUnite.com. However, very soon distressed DILs were sharing what they were up against and after a year, I changed the name to www.WiseWomenUnite.com because we all want the same thing, mutual respect. The dynamics are different but the difficulties are similar...disrespect and all the ramifications of estrangement.

My rules came from my wish to have this be a safe and kind Web-forum. We were, in some way, all hurting when we arrived...we didn't need more abuse. Since it's my site and would cost an arm and a leg, if it wasn't a gift from my son, who created it to my specs and maintains if for us, I get to call the shots. It's kind of a benign dictatorship.  ;) In real life, I am no PolyAnna but if there is no structure chaos can follow. When this site first went up, there was a private message board as part of the software and that eventually became a bashing-behind-the-back opportunity for a few. I asked Kirk to remove that feature, deleted the memberships of those so inclined, and for the most part it has been smooth sailing since then. This is a place to come to be heard and a place where many have healed. That's where my heart lies.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline Lillycache

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 638
    • View Profile
Re: No Win deal
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2015, 07:53:51 AM »
As a victim of the bashing on the site Monroe is referring to... and the realization it was my own DIL doing her share.. I vowed to NEVER enter that cesspool again.  I have not even been tempted to look.   Needless to say, this site was a welcome oasis in what seemed to be so prevalent out there..  So kudos to you Louise for keeping this place safe, sane  and nurturing. 

 

Offline Green Thumb

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 169
    • View Profile
Re: No Win deal
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2015, 08:32:39 AM »
Young adults need the room to develop their own lives and interests, strengths and get some gumption and drive. I see so many parents who have no life of their own and want their adult children to be their social group, at their beck and call, and mom/dad totally involved in the AC business. Where they do not include the in-laws and or where the grandchildren are semi-raised by one grandma cause she needs something in her life. And its fine with her that the other inlaws are really outlaws cause she gets "more" she thinks. Many call this "normal" but I think it is unhealthy.

I have come to think we should not expect our AC or their spouses to want us to be their best friends. I used to hope for this, but now I think it really is not natural order of things. I think young adults need more room to grow up, mature, get a life, etc. On their own. I used to want to be close to my adult children but it is not going to happen for several reasons beyond my control, so I am working on accepting life as it is. At some point, as AC grow older, I think a friendship with the parent can happen. But at that point, everyone is more like equals maturity wise, or should be anyway!


Offline Lillycache

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 638
    • View Profile
Re: No Win deal
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2015, 08:50:19 AM »
I agree with you Green Thumb...  I think it's unfair to expect our ACs to kow tow to us and to be our best friends... but that is not what Monroe was talking about...  believe me... there are places out there that are so toxic and venomous that it can hardly be considered "normal" by any stretch of the imagination...  and it is very clear that the MIL was never going to be liked no matter what she did.   It's a raw deal to be sure and something we cannot control..    We can only control how we react and how we let it affect our lives and happiness.     I chose to completely make the break even if it meant never seeing my son or my GKs.     Fortunately, that did not happen, and my son choses to see me and to bring his kids to see me..

Offline Green Thumb

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 169
    • View Profile
Re: No Win deal
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2015, 11:15:43 AM »
I was making a general statement not aimed at the OP. Sorry if it came across as criticism. I think she has been frozen out like many of us and if it is a dysfunctional situation, there's not much hope it will change I think sometimes we are frozen out because of the other FOO hogging the attention, time or just plain making it clear their child has to know tow to them. As in a narcissistic family. If we are a good person, we want to give love and be loved, and we are usually shocked when it isn't wanted or reciprocated. Very sad and all we can do is accept reality.

Offline Lillycache

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 638
    • View Profile
Re: No Win deal
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2015, 11:36:18 AM »
I think it's even worse when it comes a surprise.  In my case, I had absolutely no idea how much my DIL hated me.. and how much her FOO was feeding into it with her.  Her rendition of past events were unrecognizable to me.  I was wondering if I was somehow asleep.. or crazy..   To make matters worse, I learned this was going on for 10 years and my poor son was exhausted from protecting me from her..   IN the end though, I firmly believe it is better to know where you stand and then you can begin to do what is best for you.  It's cruel to keep someone in the dark about such intense feelings.  My heart breaks at all the posts from bewildered MILs who just don't understand what is going on, or what the problem is.  They know something is wrong, but no one will tell them.    It's like trying to play a game with someone, and they will not tell you what the rules are, and just get a kick out of watching you fail.  It's almost sadistic.

Offline NewMama

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 155
    • View Profile
Re: No Win deal
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2015, 05:13:28 AM »
Some of us DILs are in a position of not being allowed to voice anything to our MILs. My DH has told me when I've mentioned an issue to him, that yes MIL shouldn't have said/done that, it's wrong, but we couldn't possibly tell her such a thing. So she has no idea, keeps doing the thing she shouldn't be, and I keep getting madder and madder. She knows something is up, especially after our Christmas visit. But DH won't let me say anything.

Offline Stilllearning

  • Global Moderator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 434
  • Life.....never exactly what you expected!
    • View Profile
Re: No Win deal
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2015, 05:52:41 AM »
New, you must have a very different relationship with your DH than I have with mine.  I would no sooner bite my tongue over repeated issues than I would hold a lightening rod during a thunderstorm.  It will eventually out and when it does there will be hell to pay.  When I have had issues with my MIL  I have let her know, in a kind way, that her opinions were noted but that we disagreed with her and why.  Then if she advanced her point further I would say something noncommittal and change the subject.  To not allow you to correct the her behavior in any way is a recipe for the failure of the tenuous MIL/DIL relationship.  Your DH is correct that telling her may make things worse but not telling her will definitely make things unbearable at some time in the future. 

How much time have you spent telling your MIL what a good job she did in raising the man you fell in love with?  I found it very helpful to praise my DH to my MIL because it always turned into the sort of mutual admiration society.  Once she was on my side we could talk about anything.  Really!  Maybe then you could ask your MIL how to approach her DS about his decision to never let you tell her when she does things that bother you.  After all I have never had a relationship with anyone, even my own parents and children, where there was no irritation.  The two of you could work out a code and the next time you say something about wildflowers (for example) it could mean that she was stepping on a nerve and the same for her. 

Good luck!
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
Author unknown

Offline Pooh

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5442
    • View Profile
Re: No Win deal
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2015, 06:11:54 AM »
Some of us DILs are in a position of not being allowed to voice anything to our MILs. My DH has told me when I've mentioned an issue to him, that yes MIL shouldn't have said/done that, it's wrong, but we couldn't possibly tell her such a thing. So she has no idea, keeps doing the thing she shouldn't be, and I keep getting madder and madder. She knows something is up, especially after our Christmas visit. But DH won't let me say anything.

With all due respect, you may have some problems with your MIL, but you also have a problem with your DH.  I would be having a serious talk with my DH about how not saying anything is making it hard to have a good relationship with your MIL.  If I found out my DS had told my DIL that she couldn't talk to me about something I may have done or said that upset her, I would be mad at him, not her.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline NewMama

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 155
    • View Profile
Re: No Win deal
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2015, 06:30:06 AM »
To answer a couple things: My MIL shuts down when you are direct with her - like literally pretends you are not talking, hangs up the phone, walks away, etc - so asking her how to approach DH is rather pointless. She will not approach him with a problem herself, so there's no advice to offer. She also tells me on a regular basis how perfect DH was as a child, and how not perfect my kids are (Why do they act like that? DH *never* did anything like that. And my favourite "I was more fortunate than you, I didn't work"). So praising her as a mother is not a topic I want to open with her. Message received loud and clear that I am not as good a mother as her.

And Pooh, I have told him point blank. It very much is a DH problem. That not addressing issues damages the relationship between myself and her. DH is of the opinion that MIL will shatter into a thousand pieces if you make her have a bad feeling, and since I'm a 'stronger' person than her, I need to just accept the stuff she does and let her do it. Some day I feel that I'm going to explode over something insignificant and stupid (and I have told DH that as well).

Offline Green Thumb

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 169
    • View Profile
Re: No Win deal
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2015, 06:41:43 AM »
Communication can be positive and effective. We can stick up for ourselves without blowing up the house. Quietly and firmly stick up for ourselves with "I" statements. "MIL, I feel angry when you say I don't spank the kids enough." Rather than, "you b word, you are so stupid if you think hitting the kids is good for them!"

And it helps to put yourself in the other persons shoes and think about their feelings. Not saying she's right just saying a little compassion can help you communicate better. For example, my former and current MIL were/are narcisstic and I don't like either. They are not nice people. But knowing how narcisstic the current one is, we realized she doesn't care if we are at family gatherings, as long as her golden child is doting on her! We could be mad, but instead it's relief not to go and knowing she doesn't care if we are not there. So we are off the hook. It's quiet assertiveness.

Offline Green Thumb

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 169
    • View Profile
Re: No Win deal
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2015, 06:54:38 AM »
New, your MIL does this to control everyone. It is not about you or your kids. Her words are about herself and what is broken inside her. She manipulates and controls. When you get angry at her, she controls you. She sounds like a royal pain and terrible to be around. But don't take it personally, she'd say the same to me!! Sometimes I tell people thank you for telling me, said with a smile. Often shuts them up cause they want you to get mad. The other thing is to meekly answer "oh, this is how hubby wants it" no matter what. When she says son was perfect and your kids are terrible, you could respond "thank you, this is how son wants it" and don't get mad. You can say the same phrase over and over, always with a smile. It won't change her, you don't have the power, but you can change your attitude. She isn't attacking you as you, she manipulates and controls cause she is messed up. When you stop taking it personally, you take back your power and you win. It's hard, my boss is like your MIL and she is a pain!

Offline Lillycache

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 638
    • View Profile
Re: No Win deal
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2015, 08:03:44 AM »
New, your MIL does this to control everyone. It is not about you or your kids. Her words are about herself and what is broken inside her. She manipulates and controls. When you get angry at her, she controls you. She sounds like a royal pain and terrible to be around. But don't take it personally, she'd say the same to me!! Sometimes I tell people thank you for telling me, said with a smile. Often shuts them up cause they want you to get mad. The other thing is to meekly answer "oh, this is how hubby wants it" no matter what. When she says son was perfect and your kids are terrible, you could respond "thank you, this is how son wants it" and don't get mad. You can say the same phrase over and over, always with a smile. It won't change her, you don't have the power, but you can change your attitude. She isn't attacking you as you, she manipulates and controls cause she is messed up. When you stop taking it personally, you take back your power and you win. It's hard, my boss is like your MIL and she is a pain!

WOW  GT...   You sound like you know New's MIL personally..   

Offline luise.volta

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8905
  • Luise Volta
    • View Profile
    • Wise Women Unite
Re: No Win deal
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2015, 11:13:15 AM »
New, could the word, 'let', imply that DH controls you like MIL controls him? It is a word I heard often in my first marriage. It was a kind of covert intimidation suggesting he was the wiser. I think the word 'let' represents a kind of implied protection. We don't 'let' our children cross the street alone when they are little..or 'let' them play with fire. In adults, the word seems to me to be other than protective. I wonder if your DH and you wouldn't benefit from some counseling? (I left when my DH refused.) Simply put, you are not his child and you are not his 'second' priority. I took it for 18 years. That may be your choice as well, once the dynamics are clear. Or our situations may not be similar at all. It's just a guess. What tore me apart for 18 years were the 'whys' and the concept I could change something that was set in concrete...plus the implication that I was 'less-than'. Not so!
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama