Author Topic: Love is Patient  (Read 5277 times)

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Hope

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Love is Patient
« on: September 18, 2010, 10:01:07 PM »
Hi everyone!
It's been a while since I last posted, but I'd like to give an update on my situation.  Well, our gs is now two months old and we haven't seen much of him. :(   We are trying not to crowd our ds/dil so we've taken a step back.....but we are here if they decide to initiate contact and we have been helping/supporting them when the opportunity allows.  Tomorrow is our gs's Christening and I'll get to see him there.  It's weird - I'm so removed that I feel like he's a distant relative.  After we received the Christening invitation in the mail, I emailed our dil and asked who the godparents were.  She responded that they would let us know after they asked them.  They never told us, but last Sunday I asked our dd if she knew and she told me.  We saw our gs a few weeks ago at a large gathering where my wonderful dh teased our dil in an endearing way, but she took offense.  In the process of apologizing to her, he asked if there was anything I needed to apologize for and she said there were three things (but she didn't say what).  When I spoke to her about it, this is what I found out:
1.  She feels akward with our family b/c we are very different than hers.
2.  She mentioned that she notices the "in law" factor when she's with us.  She said that she feels that she has to be careful what she says around us because she doesn't want to say anything wrong.  However, we have never ever made a point to correct her or disagree with her, so I'm not sure why she feels this way.  We feel like we are walking on egg shells around her, but we have always taken anything she has said with the highest regard and rave about her creative ideas.
3.  She feels like she's treated different than our biological children, but I honestly don't know what she's talking about.  We honor her the same on her birthday and special occassions in every way.  That's about the only times we see her except when she does my hair and I'm very good to her all the time.  She mentioned that we sometimes ignore her emails, but the way I see it we make a point to be very responsive to her.  I mentioned that to my odd and she agreed with me that we make sure we respond quickly and positively to her.
4.  She feels pressured when I ask when they are available to get together for a birthday/holiday get together.
5.  She didn't like my email inquiring about their Easter plans.  My email asked about all three of our adult kids/spouses' plans (4 days prior) so I would know what to say in regards to their attendance at dinner when asked at our extended family get togethers.  From here on out when we are gathered at extended family holiday dinners, I'll just respond that I don't know if they will be there.
6.  I recently emailed her to see if she wanted to go shopping with me for her birthday gifts and have dinner together.  I added that I wanted to get to know her better since we only see each other in groups.  She acted like she was offended by that comment - and I reminded her that she said that I didn't know her very well at a family gathering back in June and she reminded me that we see each other when she does my hair (she's a hairdresser).

I'm managing to keep my distance and allow them to come to me (if that ever happens).  They have never initiated contact with me except for email since they have been married (five years), so I really don't think that's going to happen, but maybe some day they will need a babysitter.  We won't be planning an immediate family get together until Christmas, but when we do I guess we will just give our plans to them and if they can't make it, we'll just say, "We'll miss you, but there will always be next year".  As much as I love them, I want their love for us to be true - not something they feel pressured to do.
Your comfort and strength will help me through these difficult days.  I've actually asked my doctor for something for my nerves.  My eye has been twitching for the last few weeks - my nerves are shot.  Thanks for your patience in reading this long post.
Hugs, Hope
« Last Edit: September 18, 2010, 10:26:26 PM by Hope »

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Love is Patient
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2010, 11:02:58 PM »
Welcome back Hope! Here is my list:
1. She is a pest.
2. She is a pest.
3. She is a pest.
4. She is s pest.
5. She is a pest.
6. She is a pest.

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

cadagi101

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Re: Love is Patient
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2010, 02:41:45 AM »
I am with you all the way, you are doing a good job as a mil and know how to do it well.   I say  this  because it is so true, you can't win with those two,   they are what they are.... you are not a mindreader, she will go on and on making you feel you have have made all the mistakes!!! she wants power and is insecure in her life,  if you don't keep your distance you are giveing her more power to be nasty to you if you do keep your distance you take away her power..yaaa..she won't like that.

cremebrulee

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Re: Love is Patient
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2010, 03:59:56 AM »
Hi Hope
welcome back....

The first few things she said, I'm interested in knowing what your answers were to her
I'm going to insert some answers I would give...
Quote
1.  She feels akward with our family b/c we are very different than hers.
I'm sorry you feel that way, hopefully in time, you will feel more comfortable..getting to know the diversity of different family cultures, other then your own, must be hard...however, yes, everyone, every family is different...and I realize, it is an adjustment....one of which takes time and open discussions...when your feelings are hurt, please discuss it with you, b/c you are the last person we would want to hurt.
If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask or come to us...
Quote
2.  She mentioned that she notices the "in law" factor when she's with us.  She said that she feels that she has to be careful what she says around us because she doesn't want to say anything wrong.  However, we have never ever made a point to correct her or disagree with her, so I'm not sure why she feels this way.  We feel like we are walking on egg shells around her, but we have always taken anything she has said with the highest regard and rave about her creative ideas.

Did you ask her what her reasons were for feeling that way?
Did we give you reason to feel that way, and if so, when, what did we say?  Again, reassure her that it's going to take time but if there is anything we can do to make you feel comfortable, you would welcome any suggestions


Quote
She mentioned that we sometimes ignore her emails, but the way I see it we make a point to be very responsive to her.  I mentioned that to my odd and she agreed with me that we make sure we respond quickly and positively to her.

Then dig deeper, ask her what she means, explain to her, on all these issues, it's very important you know, so as not to offend her or hurt her feelings?

Quote
4.  She feels pressured when I ask when they are available to get together for a birthday/holiday get together.

again, ask her why, that you usually do get together for birthdays, and you want to make sure everyone is available to attend. 

What you've discussed with her, to me, is an advancement, some young people who are insecure like your DIL, will not discuss the issues, b/c she is afraid, so,they get angry and walk away....at least you got her talking...

Ask her for advice on how she would like you to do things....everything she brings up, ask her...that way it shows, your open to suggestions and are trying to listen to her, b/c her feeling are important...I would reassure her more...don't call son and ask him, call her and ask her...besides, men always get things mixed up, make certain your bases are covered by talking to her.

Hope, it sounds like you've made progress, at least she is opening up...always listen intently, and explain to her, that you really didn't understand that she felt like this...and your very sorry she does...now what do you think we should do to fix it? 

Hope, she sounds very insecure and immature and afraid...what is her family like?  Are they introverted?  Is she?
Did she have a hard childhood?

Hugs
Creme
« Last Edit: September 19, 2010, 04:03:10 AM by cremebrulee »

barelythere

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Re: Love is Patient
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2010, 06:04:29 AM »
Dear Hope,
Just my 2 cents but for what it's worth.  When you ask her questions, be sure your son is right there so the conversation can't be interpretted and sent back to him in any other way than exactly how you meant it.
This kind of thing can make YOU insecure even if you weren't before so be prepared for that too.

cremebrulee

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Re: Love is Patient
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2010, 07:07:08 AM »
Dear Hope,
Just my 2 cents but for what it's worth.  When you ask her questions, be sure your son is right there so the conversation can't be interpretted and sent back to him in any other way than exactly how you meant it.
This kind of thing can make YOU insecure even if you weren't before so be prepared for that too.

that is a very good point...
adding also...I noticed Hope you said, your walking on egg shells, fearing what she is going to think...don't....you cannot control the way anyone thinks...no matter how nice you are, and here is the thing, if she'd going to take it negatively, you can't control that...she admitted that your family is a lot different then her family...(I swear when young, we go into marriages thinking that everyone thinks and feels like we do?)  Anway, by walking on egg shells, you are immediately throwing off negative energy, that she is picking up...and thinks you don't like her...realize, why your uncomfortable, then replace it with knowing that no matter what you do or say, if she's going to take it negatively, she will.  By you sending off that negative energy, she's picking it up as maybe a threat, or that might be the reason she's stating, that she doesn't feel as if you treat her like the others in the family, that interaction. 

I realize this takes a lot of work, and more so, time and patience, but Hope, by your post, I think your off to a good start....what do you think?

Creme

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Love is Patient
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2010, 09:20:04 AM »
Sounds like some solid advice. I know I was irreverent but I always wonder when someone has a "list"...why it never enters their mind that the other person might have one, too. No one is perfect and there is the unspoken assumption that they are above reproach. That's totally unrealistic. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline Barbie

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Re: Love is Patient
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2010, 09:57:21 AM »
Oh dear Hope, how I can relate. Your DIL sounds a lot like mine, at least it sounds like you have some sort of relationship with yours since she does your hair, DIL and I hardly speak to each other nor do we have contact via email. My DIL acted like this from the very beginning, she never wanted to come to family gatherings, said she felt uncomfortable around us because we are  different than her family, DS kept telling us to be patient because she was very shy, after a couple of years of this ridiculous behavior one day I lost it and we had a confrontation then things got even worse. I've tried to make it up to her but I'm tired of having to deal with this, she refuses to meet us halfway.

I know what you mean when you say your GS feels like a distant relative. Our GD is 2 years old and we don't feel that close to her. We have babysat her a few times in the past few months and I hate to say this but I’m trying not to get too close to her because I don’t want to suffer any more than I already have, it’s gotten easier for us and we don’t miss her or DS that much anymore. My friends who are grandmothers tell me that having a GC is like being a parent for the second time but we have yet to experience this. We wish things were different, never thought they would get to this point, the GC are the ones missing out the most but evidently their parents don’t see it that way.  I tell myself God has other plans for us and He knows best. I’m a lot calmer now and I can sleep at night, DH and I are trying to go on with our lives, there’s so much we want to do and so little time. I wish I had some comforting words to tell you, just know that my heart aches for you, I hope God gives you strength and hope things get better for you soon.

Hugs.

Offline Miss Understood

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Re: Love is Patient
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2010, 10:58:42 AM »
Boy, I can't stand list makers when it comes to relationships. I don't mind with chores or things that need reminding of. But who has the right to make a list of someone's pros and cons, what they do right, what they do wrong..what they should and shouldn't do. All it does is lead to disapointment. My family (parents, siblings, etc) are that way....List makers and grudge holders. Nobody can ever accept responsibility for wrong doing, hurting someone else, anything...then the list comes out and it goes way back, things you thought would have been marked off that list way back when. Nothing good ever comes of it and nothing ever gets accomplished. Though...I always step back in hoping that I can have some sort of rational relationship with them. But it always reverts back to the grudge and the list.
The only thing I can tell you about your DIL is she has that right to make that list...but you don't have to accept anything on it. That is not your list and it is o.k. to ask what is bothering her or what you can do to help you and DIL have a better relationship...but when the list comes out...be assured it is an endless list and nothing ever really gets crossed off it.
I like Luise's list. She's a pest!

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Love is Patient
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2010, 12:04:55 PM »
I just love being understood by Miss Understood. Well put!  ;D
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline Pen

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Re: Love is Patient
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2010, 12:26:26 PM »
Hope, I'm glad you're back, but sorry to hear things are uncomfortable with you and DIL.

Oh, the dreaded lists. Objects belong on lists, such as items for a shopping day or chores that must be done. People and their attributes don't belong on lists, IMHO. When one does that it devalues the other, which may be the objective?

I'm so tired of good people being treated poorly.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Orly

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Re: Love is Patient
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2010, 01:51:58 PM »
OMG!

That list of hers is just the lamest thing I have ever read.  Why, oh why, didn't she include the freckle you have on your nose making her uncomfortable?  She is looking for any excuse at all, for a reason to not include you.  Take one thing out of the equation....stop using her as your hairdresser....keep your relationship purely a family one...then she can't use the one about her "working for you" making her feel funny.  Really, letting her cut, or style your hair is one of the most  touchy issues involving trust between two women.  Or at least it is to me....if I don't trust you, or feel comfortable with you....you aren't going to be touching my head.  WITH a sharp instrument and chemicals....no way in heck!

barelythere

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Re: Love is Patient
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2010, 05:02:33 PM »
Hi everyone!
It's been a while since I last posted, but I'd like to give an update on my situation.  Well, our gs is now two months old and we haven't seen much of him. :(   We are trying not to crowd our ds/dil so we've taken a step back.....but we are here if they decide to initiate contact and we have been helping/supporting them when the opportunity allows.  Tomorrow is our gs's Christening and I'll get to see him there.  It's weird - I'm so removed that I feel like he's a distant relative.  After we received the Christening invitation in the mail, I emailed our dil and asked who the godparents were.  She responded that they would let us know after they asked them.  They never told us, but last Sunday I asked our dd if she knew and she told me.  We saw our gs a few weeks ago at a large gathering where my wonderful dh teased our dil in an endearing way, but she took offense.  In the process of apologizing to her, he asked if there was anything I needed to apologize for and she said there were three things (but she didn't say what).  When I spoke to her about it, this is what I found out:
1.  She feels akward with our family b/c we are very different than hers.
2.  She mentioned that she notices the "in law" factor when she's with us.  She said that she feels that she has to be careful what she says around us because she doesn't want to say anything wrong.  However, we have never ever made a point to correct her or disagree with her, so I'm not sure why she feels this way.  We feel like we are walking on egg shells around her, but we have always taken anything she has said with the highest regard and rave about her creative ideas.
3.  She feels like she's treated different than our biological children, but I honestly don't know what she's talking about.  We honor her the same on her birthday and special occassions in every way.  That's about the only times we see her except when she does my hair and I'm very good to her all the time.  She mentioned that we sometimes ignore her emails, but the way I see it we make a point to be very responsive to her.  I mentioned that to my odd and she agreed with me that we make sure we respond quickly and positively to her.
4.  She feels pressured when I ask when they are available to get together for a birthday/holiday get together.
5.  She didn't like my email inquiring about their Easter plans.  My email asked about all three of our adult kids/spouses' plans (4 days prior) so I would know what to say in regards to their attendance at dinner when asked at our extended family get togethers.  From here on out when we are gathered at extended family holiday dinners, I'll just respond that I don't know if they will be there.
6.  I recently emailed her to see if she wanted to go shopping with me for her birthday gifts and have dinner together.  I added that I wanted to get to know her better since we only see each other in groups.  She acted like she was offended by that comment - and I reminded her that she said that I didn't know her very well at a family gathering back in June and she reminded me that we see each other when she does my hair (she's a hairdresser).

I'm managing to keep my distance and allow them to come to me (if that ever happens).  They have never initiated contact with me except for email since they have been married (five years), so I really don't think that's going to happen, but maybe some day they will need a babysitter.  We won't be planning an immediate family get together until Christmas, but when we do I guess we will just give our plans to them and if they can't make it, we'll just say, "We'll miss you, but there will always be next year".  As much as I love them, I want their love for us to be true - not something they feel pressured to do.
Your comfort and strength will help me through these difficult days.  I've actually asked my doctor for something for my nerves.  My eye has been twitching for the last few weeks - my nerves are shot.  Thanks for your patience in reading this long post.
Hugs, Hope

Hope, I was re-reading your post and thought of something.  Maybe time...just time will enable her to feel differently. Gosh, I hope so. 

barelythere

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Re: Love is Patient
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2010, 05:05:29 PM »
And another thing I was thinking of, Hope.  A friend of mine had a sister in law like this but my friend is not shy in confrontations so at one of their family meals she said: "what is wrong with you?  I mean it!  What is wrong with you?"  Her sister in law didn't say a word but forevermore she quit acting like she acted. She was confronted by my friend, The Tornado.

Hope

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Re: Love is Patient
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2010, 05:39:34 PM »
Welcome back Hope! Here is my list:
1. She is a pest.
2. She is a pest.
3. She is a pest.
4. She is s pest.
5. She is a pest.
6. She is a pest.

 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
Thanks for your response, Luise.  I needed some levity.  We were gone all day to mass, the baptism, then the after party.  Our gs was as cute as can be.  He wore our ds's Christening outfit that his fraternal grandmother handmade for him - it's a little suit with a vest rather than a jacket.  I didn't get to see the outfit on him ahead of time, but I knew our ds was a lot smaller baby and offered to alter it for them.  My dil told me that she tried it on him and that it didn't need any alterations.  The shirt was so small it couldn't be buttoned at the top and the bowtie was just folded over with the top of the shirt.  When I offered to help out with the preparation, my dil allowed us to provide soft drinks and they borrowed chairs and tables, but didn't want any other help from me.  Her side of the family took care of most everything.  She would not accept my help at the party either.  I had to ask someone if I could hold the baby, but I finally did get to hold him and I got all the pictures I wanted.  My dil actually has a great sense of humor and is extremely friendly, however, she admitted to me that she is uncomfortable when all the attention is on her, such as opening gifts.  Today they didn't open the pile of Christening gifts, but before we left I asked if they would open just one of our gifts b/c I wanted to see their expression.  It was an infant Cincinnati Bengal ballcap (they are HUGE Bengal fans).  I had his name embroidered on the back above the adjustor.  They loved it and my ds asked where I found it.  That was the highlight of my day - I did something that pleased them.  I also had a chance to see my son alone, so I told him that I apologized to my dil for offending her and he said that neither I nor my dh knew what we were apologizing for - that there wasn't a need for us to apologize.  He said that it was horrible getting ready for the Christening - that he didn't enjoy it at all.  He said he's had it - that his mil was spending the night there again to take care of the baby the next day and he had his fill of her.  I kept my mouth shut about that, but I told him that we never intented to cause them any tension and that was why we may seem inactive - not b/c we didn't care.  I told him that we didn't want to be a nuisance.  I'm glad that I had the chance to talk to him for a minute.  Hearing from you and the other understanding women here has lifted my spirits.  Thanks!
Hugs, Hope