Author Topic: Mother of the Groom and all that ...  (Read 8297 times)

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Offline forever spring

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Mother of the Groom and all that ...
« on: September 05, 2010, 12:29:18 AM »
I found this poem by Seamus Heaney (Irish poet) which in my view is the best summary of how mothers feel when the son leaves their life to forge his own life.

    Mother of the Groom by Seamus Heaney

    What she remembers
    Is his glistening back
    In the bath, his small boots
    In the ring of boots at her feet.

    Hands in her voided lap,
    She hears a daugheter welcomed.
    It’s as if he kicked when lifted
    And slipped her soapy hold.

    Once soap would ease off
    The wedding ring
    That’s bedded forever now
    In her clapping hand.

I start this as a new topic because it may allow some of us to address our feelings of being 'made redundant' on so many fronts. These feelings may contribute to problems we have in our everyday communication with DIL. I am now trying to interpret my feelings towards my DIL and the ensuing problems from this root cause. Intellectualy I am willing to let go but after four years of their marriage I have not been able to do so from the bottom of my heart. It still hurts in a place deep deep down. It has taken me a while to acknowledge this because I feel mean and small minded thinking like that. It does not square with the outlook I have on life but it is nevertheless real and I feel I need to address this to gain equilibrium of mind and start a better relationship with the ever growing family who I love dearly.
Does anybody out there feel like this too? Or am I really a possessive mother who can't let go?

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Mother of the Groom and all that ...
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2010, 11:36:24 AM »
We all let go. We just do it in different ways and under different circumstances.  A mother had to let go for you to have a dad. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

belweav

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Re: Mother of the Groom and all that ...
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2010, 07:08:46 AM »
I am new here and have been looking for a site like this.

My oldest son is getting married at the end of October and my biggest fear is losing him after losing my youngest and grandson back in March because the dil is a Jealous of our relationship with the son and grandson. I'm at a loss on how to deal with the fear anticipating it happening.

Offline Pooh

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Re: Mother of the Groom and all that ...
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2010, 07:23:23 AM »
That is the trick belweav.  We can't let fear rule our lives.  We simply must do our best and hope for the best.  People are going to be who they are, and all we can do is be accountable for ourselves.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

barelythere

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Re: Mother of the Groom and all that ...
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2010, 07:34:51 AM »
belweav, whatever you have to do to stay in good graces with your DIL, do it.  Try to not let anything she does hurt you or at least don't show it.  The key to your son is through his wife.  Just let everything go right over your head that she says.  It can be daunting sometimes but it's a must. 

cremebrulee

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Re: Mother of the Groom and all that ...
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2010, 08:12:47 AM »
I found this poem by Seamus Heaney (Irish poet) which in my view is the best summary of how mothers feel when the son leaves their life to forge his own life.

    Mother of the Groom by Seamus Heaney

    What she remembers
    Is his glistening back
    In the bath, his small boots
    In the ring of boots at her feet.

    Hands in her voided lap,
    She hears a daugheter welcomed.
    It’s as if he kicked when lifted
    And slipped her soapy hold.

    Once soap would ease off
    The wedding ring
    That’s bedded forever now
    In her clapping hand.

I start this as a new topic because it may allow some of us to address our feelings of being 'made redundant' on so many fronts. These feelings may contribute to problems we have in our everyday communication with DIL. I am now trying to interpret my feelings towards my DIL and the ensuing problems from this root cause. Intellectualy I am willing to let go but after four years of their marriage I have not been able to do so from the bottom of my heart. It still hurts in a place deep deep down. It has taken me a while to acknowledge this because I feel mean and small minded thinking like that. It does not square with the outlook I have on life but it is nevertheless real and I feel I need to address this to gain equilibrium of mind and start a better relationship with the ever growing family who I love dearly.
Does anybody out there feel like this too? Or am I really a possessive mother who can't let go?

Hi there, and thank you for posting this poem....beautiful...

You are not small minded at all....and your feelings are valid...I believe what scares us mom's the most is the change, the routine of being in charge all of the time, when our kids are growing up...we were so needed in they're lives for survival....and when they marry, they no longer need us in the lives the same way, which is perfectly normal.....I felt it and didn't realize it, it was a subconsciense feeling....and very difficult for me to explain the way I'd like to, so forgive me if I stumble all over myself....

I think feeling like this, contributed to my problems with DIL...
Right now, your DIL is probably just as afraid of you & your family as you are of her.
We expect them to accept us right away and know that we love them, b/c our son's have chosen them, and we also make the mistake of making comments that hurt they're feelings.  We don't mean to, but we do...and they clam up and fear that they will never be able to be the wife and mom that you are...

They also fear, that they're husbands will never love them as much as they love us...b/c when they get together he brags about mom, what a good cook she is, and he's not doing that to hurt her, he's doing that simply to make conversation....but, it really intimidates her...I know this now, b/c my son's father did that with me, and I was young, afraid, sore afraid, and immature, stubborn and wanted my way....I couldn't wait to set up housekeeping and be my own boss...however, she wouldn't allow me to do that, she always had a comment or suggestion to make, which made me feel like wow, I'm wrong....and I knew she wished I would do things her way, and I couldn't....not b/c her ways were wrong, but I had my own ways of doing things.  If she would have given me time, it would have been better, I would have acclimated better, but she rushed me into calling her mom, and just moved right into the idea that everytime she thought we should be there, we had to be, and it was annoying, tiring and I was living my life to suit her. 

So, I'm not saying you or anyone here is doing these things, I can only warn you and try to write down examples of where I made mistakes or my MIL made mistakes with me. 

I would suggest firmly, you sit back and let her be the pilet and let her cue you...don't make any suggestions of how they should do this or that...allow them to take the lead.

More then anything else, understand, that our son's do leave they're families to cleave to they're wives, and when they do, things as we knew them will never be the same....and they shouldn't be....

Traditions that you had with your son, might also change...don't expect to have that same kind of attention from him....he has taken another woman in his life to be his confident, partner, best friend and companion....he doesn't love you any less, he is just simply moving on, and so should you...allowance is what you should be doing, b/c it is perfectly normal and the right thing to do..however, if you DIL is being mean to you, then don't be a doormat....regardless....there is a certain amount of respect that she needs to give you and visa versa.

If you try talking to her, b/c she is immature, she may deny she feels this way....b/c she is young and afraid....

I would try to buy as many MIL books as possible, to help you during this very difficult transition...some of us, have a very hard time ever letting go, others acclimate very well...it depends on the person....however, you will never be able to fight her and if you do...your son will only see it as your rejecting her...if you ever say anything to him against her, he will take it as a rejection of the woman he loves....the love of his life....he won't be capable of understanding, you don't dislike her, you just want to be accepted by her and loved by her....all this takes time, it's a huge transition on her part, and his, but can be very difficult for mothers. 

I would suggest to not call him much, let him call you....and don't just drop by they're home unannounced and don't look for excuses to drop by, they are newly weds and they will need they're own space.

I would also suggest, everytime you feel like your going to disagree with a situation they've decided, bud out, and reward them by saying, I think that is a good idea...remember, it's they're idea, they're way of doing things, and if you are negative about they're ideas, what your saying is...."your wrong and they think they're adults and want to live they're lives they're way"....you can no longer protect them from mistakes, matter of fact, by allowing them mistakes will help them move along in life better.  They are a team, remember that....and you must wait to be invited in, know when to be there and when not to be involved, which is more times then you'll want it to be.  You see, it's time now for your growth to....life doesn't end when your son leaves home, but your growth with him as his provider and caregiver does...your job is done....and this I had to continually say over and over again, as well as, he's a grown man, it's his turn to live life....it's his time, not mine....so I had to find other things to keep me occupied....other hobbies, make new friends, and finally now, if your married, consentrate on your husband, b/c he's been put on the back burner for so long and so have your dreams....continue where you left off years ago and consentrate on putting spice back into your life and marriage, you see, this transition can be a good one, if you let it be.

Another thing that will change are the family traditions....she might want to make her own, which means all your family dinners....yes, we were a close family, my son and I and our family, we were very close...my son confided in me everything and so did his friends...our home was the home that all the kids came to, and we had such a good time....I was a friend to my son as well as his mother....however, I was strict....and didn't give him everything, made him work for what he wanted....and he didn't have the best clothes, etc.  Did I make mistakes, heck yeah, I was a baby myself when I had him, so we basically grew up together....but what I didn't see coming, is....
he was leaving the nest and my job was over...it was his turn to live life, and he was no longer my baby....his birthdays were no longer mine, etc....I had to let go, and it took a lot of years and a lot of pain and hurt, not just mine, but they'res....it wasn't about me anymore, and I had to find a new life, new hobbies....new everything, my son, was no longer my purpose. 

I don't know if anything here I've written will help, but if you can take some enlightenment from it, then good, if not, then, it's ok....it may not apply to you....

one thing, don't fear being wrong.....and changing your attitude....there is nothing wrong with being wrong....and making mistakes, we do it every day of our lives, that's how we grow....so, listen to them when you can....and follow they're lead, not yours....it's not about you anymore, it's about his wife and they're happiness....remember, all a mother wants for her son is to meet a woman, marry, experience love and life on his own, without mom there to tell him what to do.....

oh, and one more thing...when you can, let them take care of themselves, b/c if you loan them moey or give them to much, it isn't going to change they're attitudes or buy you love, and when you give money to your kids, I don't care who you are, if they don't live up to your expectations, you become very resentful....so, good luck and God bless, I hope and pray things work out for you.

Remember, DIL is very young....immature right now...and just as afraid as you are....and all your son is looking for, is that you accept her and not reject her and not say anything, ever about her to him.   It hurts our son's terrible when you do that, even if he discusses personal issues about her with you, you should be telling him, you don't want to know, b/c it will make you biased and you don't want to be.....suggest he work it out together with her....and explain to him that all couples have disagreements....and if they escalate then they should find a good counselor and work it out.

Hugs
Creme
« Last Edit: September 14, 2010, 08:29:59 AM by cremebrulee »

barelythere

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Re: Mother of the Groom and all that ...
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2010, 08:43:44 AM »
Creme, with me, I only wanted to be a part of their lives.  I want to make that clear. Nothing more. As long as I was at their disposal, night and day to do whatever they wanted, I was in.  I felt I belonged.  I noticed, but dismissed each incident, that they were never there for us, ever.  That includes our son.  No matter if it was the most extreme emergency, they were no shows.  After awhile, that makes you feel that you were being used.  I was being used.  I think I loved my GD so much that she became the focus of my life and she shouldn't have been. However, I kept her so much how could I help but feel this way?   I never dreamed they were using me, just happy to be there and here being apart of something.  I loved my DIL and GD as much as I did my own son and he is a very nice guy.  She has her ways of making you feel good while you're doing her bidding. I'm so thick headed that it took me years to get it.   :(

Offline Pen

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Re: Mother of the Groom and all that ...
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2010, 09:33:04 AM »
BT, that's what's going on with us, too, so I know what you're going through. Be strong, and be true to yourself.

We were used and then treated horribly by DIL. What really hurts is hearing about the things they do to help DIL's FOO. Do you remember all my "just say no" posts? I recently had to turn down a request to help them with something major, and I was afraid we'd be cut off but I said no anyway. So far so good :)

Without the wisdom and support of all of you I doubt I would have held fast; thanks so much!
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

barelythere

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Re: Mother of the Groom and all that ...
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2010, 09:45:56 AM »
Pen?  You said "NO?"   Hooray!  What guts you have, Superwoman, GRRRR!! I'm so proud of you!!  I said no too but that kind of started the distancing.  I had the choice of keeping their dogs while they were out of town or go out of town myself. I'm afraid I chose going out of town and brother, did it cost me.  It has never been the same but at least I know now what's going on.  Congratulations!!

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Mother of the Groom and all that ...
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2010, 12:13:47 PM »
Boy is that a hard word to say and mean..."no." For eons I couldn't even spell it or pronounce it! Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

belweav

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Re: Mother of the Groom and all that ...
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2010, 06:19:55 PM »
I feel mean all of the time about my dil who married my youngest son. I know that this woman has taught me to hate. I cannot even find a tiny portion of grace for her.  I've lost all respect for my son who called his father a liar when my husband confronted him about what had happened.

Barelythere this was how my dil treated me and once I no longer served a purpose for her she cut us out.

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Mother of the Groom and all that ...
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2010, 06:29:29 PM »
I believe that no one can teach you to hate. It is a choice. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline Barbie

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Re: Mother of the Groom and all that ...
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2010, 07:25:54 PM »
I'm tempted to say "no" next time DS asks us to go and babysit which probably won't be for a while now. It's so discouraging after spending time with DIL's family and seeing our Gd interact with them, I fear GD will never be close to us and my heart will be broken again. I had so many hopes and dreams for my first GD and they've all gone down the tube but I'm starting to enjoy life again regardless. DH says he can attach and detach, it doesn't matter to him, I think he's pretty attached already. I'm so afraid to put myself out there to be hurt once more, that's keeping me from getting closer to GD and DS.

barelythere

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Re: Mother of the Groom and all that ...
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2010, 07:47:05 PM »
I think every one of us should practice saying no on a regular basis just for grins.  I think you get strength when you do.  Finding out you've been used is hard and I look around and see these great families who really love each other, are there for each other, all I'd hoped for in my life. 

I saw my son tonight by chance and I don't know how to explain it but he's not the same person he was even last year.  Something is wrong.  First of all, he's afraid to look at me, he just chit chats and that's okay but mostly he's quiet, introverted, not like the outgoing guy he once was.  I make sure that I don't even look like I'm going to ask him anything personal.  He seems like he's covering something up, like his happiness maybe. It looks like he might be unhappy with himself, I don't know. His wife was not with him but she called. 

Offline Pen

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Re: Mother of the Groom and all that ...
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2010, 07:57:20 PM »
For everyone who has to make these wrenching decisions because someone else has overstepped boundaries or taken advantage, my thoughts are with you. It surely isn't fair, but it's the way it is. I'm not dealing with being a GM yet, but hearing the stories from some of you is inspiring me to be proactive. I want to have personal strategies in place so I can handle whatever DIL and DS decide to do, JIC.

Guest1, my DH just wants a peaceful, loving home. He is tired of the drama and heartbreak, and he wants to know he's number 1 with me. If he has to detach from DS and future GKs, so be it. I guess he thinks there's nothing he can do to change it, so we might as well enjoy each other. I know he dearly loves his son, and he would be a wonderful GF, but he isn't going to waste precious time moaning about what could have been.

BT, thanks for the Superwoman comment :) I was actually shaking on the phone and nearly waffled, but I thought of you all and stood my ground. So, I'm only Super if you've got my back, apparently ; ) Saying "no" is a way to take care of ourselves. For some of us, it's time. For others it's not, and that's OK too.

I'm sorry your DS appears changed and that your relationship with him is superficial right now; it's that way with my DS too. Isn't it weird?  (My DIL always calls DS when he's with us on rare occasions without her, usually with an emergency only he can handle.) Here's hoping they figure it out sooner rather than later.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb