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Old 12-29-2012, 12:27 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by Kbella's mom View Post

I could have written that post myself. I, too, have been married for 25 years and was lucky enough to live thousands of miles away from MIL for 15 of those years. DH never stood up to her -- ever.

Two years ago, I decided to address the issue with MIL and all the while DH sat there with a "shocked" look on his face as if it were the first time he ever heard there was a problem. Unfortunatley, it did nothing to make the situation with MIL any better. For a time, things were MUCH worse. Half of my IL's don't speak to me now and DH just says nothing.

After the confrontation, I decided that the task of sending cards and gifts to my MIL should go to my DH. Needless to say, nothing has been sent since. Of course, MIL got me on the phone to complain about the lack of birthday cards, etc. I told her to talk to her son.

I love him dearly, but when he told me that counseling would not change the dynamics with us and his family, I realized I couldn't continue being a doormat. The day after Christmas was the last straw and I finally got the courage to ask DH for a divorce. Ugh.

I don't have any good advice for you, I'm sorry. I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. Take care.
I'm sorry.
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:27 AM   #47
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OP, when DH's sisters were thoughtless, insensitive, downright rude and just plain mean to me, I was repeatedly told any one or a combination of the following...

Well, I didn't hear/see/notice that.
I'm sure that's not how they meant it.
They were probably just joking.
Just ignore them, that's what I do, no one pays attention to them anyway.
Let it go.
Can't you just forgive them, they're ignorant.


I asked him to speak to them. He didn't. I asked him to stand up to them. He didn't. I asked him to defend me. He didn't. (I only asked this of him because... your family - you deal with them, not because I couldn't defend myself.)

I was angry and I was hurt, by his sisters and by DH.

DH is a peace-keeper. He seeks peace by avoiding personal confrontation and by just letting it roll off his back. I like peace, too, but I think it is reached by getting things out in the open, having some ground rules and personal boundaries and searching for a solution we can all live with.

I realized DH was never going to change the way he interacts with his siblings, but also I realized DH was expecting me to deal/handle his sisters the way he has always dealt with them. I finally said to him, "You want to handle issues the way you want to handle them... fine, but what's good for you is good for me. Just know that I'll be handling issues the way I want to from now on, too." And so I did.

We still had years of drama and issues with SiL's, but at least I felt better about sticking up for me and mine.

Dec. 2011. SiL's were up to their old tricks and this time they crossed the line. This time they caused enormous pain and grief, and I told DH I was done with them and would not subject myself to it again. And, when it mattered most, DH was there for me. He stood up and supported me.

We, (including DH) have not spoken to them for over a year now. I'm okay with that, I don't care if I never have a relationship with them, but I do hope, in time, that DH and his sisters will move on and have a relationship on some level.

Still... I can't help but think, if DH had spoken up years ago and put them in their place, it may have never reached this point and it may not have come to this.

Good luck, and take care of yourself.
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:14 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by mamajo View Post
Hello all. I just need a place to get some perspective. Ive been married to DH for 25 years and my MIL and one BIL just will not back off the front porch regarding how I treat him. They seem to think I tie him up in the basement or somethingthat hes mistreated, maligned, abusedwhatever. I dont know why or how they come to that conclusion being that were happily married. Its time for them to move on but they just wont. I get the sweet treatment to my face, then they snipe behind my back. My DH refuses to confront anyone (especially his family) and it has been a bone of contention since we married. They have said some pretty nasty things to me over the years, yet, out of respect for him, I have kept my mouth shut and have always participated in family gatherings, cooking, doing dishes, being respectful to her. Never rocking the boat. Im very close to my SIL (married to the BIL) and MIL resents it for some reason. Point of the story is I have given up trying to please them and have restricted going to visit in the last year or so. They live quite a distance and my husband cant go more than 3 mos. without visiting them. Ive chosen not to go to save my sanity and perhaps lessen the stress for them (though it just gets them wound up that Im not there as well). Im danged if I do, danged if I dont. Im tired of it. We are leaving tonight to go there and I had tried to get out of it but my husband insists that I go. He doesnt want to have to explain why Im not there. I am pretty upset that I have to go but am going because its the right thing. I just found out from my SIL that MIL is asking what has she done to upset me? She doesnt understand why I dont seem to want to visit (apparently seeing the pattern). My SIL just threw me under the bus by saying, You have to ask her, dont put me in the middle of it. Everyone is saying if it comes up, I should just have it out and let her know how much shes hurt me over the years. I am not afraid to say something but 1.) I dont feel it will do any good as she seems to not have a clue she has done anything to upset me, and 2.) my bigger issue is my husband. His mother asks, and he wont say anything in my defense, hanging me out to dry (AGAIN). It will kill me psychologically if thats what happens. He knows he should stand up to her for me but he never has and this will just be the final feather for me. If he says nothing, my feelings for him may never be the same. Im terrified of the outcome. My question is: should I tell him this may hit the fan or do I just see how it plays and give him no heads up (maybe the element of surprise would induce him to speak up for once)? I would never make a scene there (as that would not solve anything) but I am not afraid of saying what I have bottled up for so long. Im just not looking forward to what may come. Thanks for listening.
I would go. I would have a smile on my face. I would treat my husband and daughter like gold, 25 years of marriage, something is working. I would kill them with kindness. I would start new.

Confrontation is one of his flaws. You have flaws too. We are not perfect. There is no perfect husband. No perfect marriage. There must be tons of wonderful reasons your two are still together outside this one problem.

Tell SIL to not tell you what she hears. She should not have said anything to you. She should stay out of it. Don't ask her either. Let it die.

If confronted about not coming over or whatever, look at your husband and say "honey, your mom want's to know why I haven't been able to come with you, didn't you tell her why?" give him a kiss on the cheek and walk out of the room. He will either hash it out, walk away or make something up.

Go chat with someone, read a magazine, watch t.v. go to the bathroom.
If you are brought into it hash it out, then let it go, with a hug at the end. Pick your words wisely. Never let it escalate to hate.

Yes, we sometimes marry people from families we don't like, but we love the people they raised.

Having to see them only once every three months. Not worth the time and energy, aggravation and time it has taken up in your life. Concentrate on your husband, daughter, and marriage and chalk this up to having a crazy, old, mean mother in law, who should know better.

That is who she is and nothing will change, but you can change the way you think about it.

JMO

Last edited by Soulsearching; 12-29-2012 at 10:44 AM.
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:21 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Soulsearching View Post
I would go. I would have a smile on my face. I would treat my husband and daughter like gold, 25 years of marriage, something is working. I would kill them with kindness. I would start new.

Confrontation is one of his flaws. You have flaws too. We are not perfect. There is no perfect husband. No perfect marriage. There must be tons of wonderful reasons your two are still together outside this one problem.

Tell SIL to not tell you what she hears. She should not have said anything to you. She should stay out of it. Don't ask her either. Let it die.

If confronted about not coming over or whatever, look at your husband and say "honey, your mom want's to know why I haven't been able to come with you, didn't you tell her why?" give him a kiss on the cheek and walk out of the room. He will either hash it out, walk away or make something up.

Go chat with someone, read a magazine, watch t.v. go to the bathroom.
If you are brought into it hash it out, then let it go, with a hug at the end. Pick your words wisely. Never let it escalate to hate.

Yes, we sometimes marry people from families we don't like, but we love the people they raised.

Having to see them only once every three months. Not worth the time and energy, aggravation and time it has taken up in your life. Concentrate on your husband, daughter, and marriage and chalk this up to having a crazy, old, mean mother in law, who should know better.

That is who she is and nothing will change, but you can.

JMO
Finally an answer that makes sense. Rare on the Dis when it comes to mother and law threads.
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:41 AM   #50
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OP, I just wouldn't go. Period. You need boundaries for yourself.
...
Lastly IMO, no good would come from confrontation of any sort.
Amen... and AMEN!!!!!

People are who they are....
While it is VERY wrong for your DH to not stand up for you, and to actually demand that you show up to visit and appease his mother... The bottom line is that confrontation is only negative and ugly. Yes, it might be the first gut reaction to confront them and tell it like you see it... Yes, that is probably what the wife feels like she needs to see happen... But, is that gonna change anything... NOT A SNOWBALL'S CHANCE.

There is a very big difference between doing the right thing, putting one's wife first, etc... and 'confronting' ones parents.
DH could confront his parents every day from now till kingdom come, and that would not change them.
There is a way to deal with these things without direct confrontation.
In fact, 'engaging' is just falling into their game.

Also, I will just add.....
In many of these cases, I would immediately agree with the spouse/wife... there are MANY cases of dysfunctional families where no wife would or could EVER be accepted my a man's mother, and she refuses to relinquish her 100% claim to her son. He is HERS, for life, and no other woman will EVER, EVER, not in a gazillion years, be respected or accepted.... I would say that this is the HUGE, 90% or more, majority of these cases. And, in those cases, a huge percentage of these men would also, due to definition, be a non-confrontational 'momma's boy'. Most here know that I have BTDT.

But, as I mentioned, and a couple of other posters here have mentioned... We don't know enough, and there are some things in the OP's story that do not completely add up....

In any case:
OP, no matter what the true story, and backstory, here... You do not HAVE to go. And, the biggest red flag I see is the fact that your husband seems to feel that he can expect/demand this from you.

Last edited by Wishing on a star; 12-29-2012 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:14 AM   #51
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"Soulsearching" - best advise ever!
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:38 AM   #52
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I believe there are TWO sides to these kinds of stories. And we have only heard your side. It has been my experience that the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

I would suggest you take a good honest look at yourself to see what your real roll in this is. Why would your MIL and BIL feel the way they do? IF indeed they really do. Could you be misunderstanding them? Why does your DH not stand up to them? Could he secretly not see what you are seeing and is afraid to upset you?

I'm not saying thus is you, but I have a SIL who is always playing the poor victim of her inlaws. I honestly believe she believes what she says is accurate. However, the whole family does not see her claims. (Similar to yours) We try to make her feel welcome at all family events, but somehow we offend her.... Everyone offends her.

Just consider your inlaws may not be the only problem.


I have seen this scenario play out twice, once on DH's side and once on my side of the family.

DH's DB wife will not speak to any of us, I am sure if she were to post we would be the biggest witches in the world. But we have done nothing but try to help her when she almost died, by drinking herself into a coma. But she could easily be posting her, saying that BIL is being harrassed by his mom when asking if he can see them for Christmas etc.


Then my own DB did stuff when he was married to his first wife, now she was a witch and they wound up divorcing. But before that DB ran to my mom with every little problem they had, it was crazy. So my mom had a hard time dealing with this woman when they would come over knowing how she treated her DS.

But OP do not go, if you do not want to. Tell your DH too bad that he has to explain and if he left me while we were there I would jump back in the car and head home.

But why did you not address these issues from the get go, esp if I found out that they called me a bad word to my child, or called my child a bad word. I think your confrontations issues are just as bad as your DHs
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:47 AM   #53
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Yes, my SIL hears alot of it and reports back to me. But my daughter gets it also. MIL tells her what a "*****" I am, how she is just like me
I am just now really seeing this comment above in it's entirety....

IF there is any truth to this...
No matter what the situation, or how the OP may or may not have contriibuted....

THIS WOULD NOT FLY.
IF YOUR HUSBAND ALLOWS THESE THINGS TO BE SAID TO HIS DAUGHTER... THAT WOULD NEVER, EVER, EVER, IN A MILLION YEARS, EVER HAPPEN AGAIN.

As you know, I have BTDT.
The last time that I spoke to my FIL was the day he made such toxic and negative comments like this in front of my young son.

If your daughter is grown, and you have allowed/enabled this to happen to her through all of these years.
You should be asking yourself 'why'.

OP, tell your husband that you will not be going.
It is never a good idea to continue to 'engage'.
If you do go. If you do open up these opportunities... Then you would be an 'enabler', and in some way, adding to the problem.
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:55 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Wishing on a star View Post
Amen... and AMEN!!!!!

People are who they are....
While it is VERY wrong for your DH to not stand up for you, and to actually demand that you show up to visit and appease his mother... The bottom line is that confrontation is only negative and ugly. Yes, it might be the first gut reaction to confront them and tell it like you see it... Yes, that is probably what the wife feels like she needs to see happen... But, is that gonna change anything... NOT A SNOWBALL'S CHANCE.

There is a very big difference between doing the right thing, putting one's wife first, etc... and 'confronting' ones parents.
DH could confront his parents every day from now till kingdom come, and that would not change them.
There is a way to deal with these things without direct confrontation.
In fact, 'engaging' is just falling into their game.

Also, I will just add.....
In many of these cases, I would immediately agree with the spouse, wife... there are MANY cases of dysfunctional families where no wife would or could EVER be accepted my a man's mother, and she refuses to relinquish her 100% claim to her son. He is HERS, for life, and no other woman will EVER, EVER, not in a gazillion years, be respected or accepted.... I would say that this is the HUGE, 90% or more, majority of these cases. Most here know that I have BTDT.

But, as I mentioned, and a couple of other posters here have mentioned... We don't know enough, and there are some things in the OP's story that do not completely add up....

In any case:
OP, no matter what the true story, and backstory, here... You do not HAVE to go. And, the biggest red flag I see is the fact that your husband seems to feel that he can expect/demand this from you.
Red flags abound. Non supportive husband.

MIL speaking badly about you to your DD. That's a biggie too. What does your DD say to your MIL when she puts you down? Does she stand up for you? Does anyone?

I do know if it were me, I wouldn't go. You are at the breaking point with this mess (as most people would be). How you put up with this for 25 years, I don't know. If you go, you will be loaded for bear and it won't be pretty. You don't want that. I think the outcome of even the most benign statement will not be good.

I think that for all the information you have gotten from "another source" over the years, you can bet your MIL has gotten the same amount about you. It could have been said innocently enough, but human nature puts it's spin on things (good or bad). Your MIL doesn't know what you know from "another source" and likewise you don't know what she knows about you. I would shut that avenue down. It serves no good purpose in your life. It drags you down and keeps you down in this situation.

In the future, when you are in your IL's company, when something is said that makes you upset ask, "What do you mean?". Open ended, honest, on the spot. You can't change the past. You can't change others. But you can hold up a mirror to let them see their own reflection.

Again, good luck with this. It's dangerous waters. Tread carefully.
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Old 12-29-2012, 12:00 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Soulsearching

I would go. I would have a smile on my face. I would treat my husband and daughter like gold, 25 years of marriage, something is working. I would kill them with kindness. I would start new.

Confrontation is one of his flaws. You have flaws too. We are not perfect. There is no perfect husband. No perfect marriage. There must be tons of wonderful reasons your two are still together outside this one problem.

Tell SIL to not tell you what she hears. She should not have said anything to you. She should stay out of it. Don't ask her either. Let it die.

If confronted about not coming over or whatever, look at your husband and say "honey, your mom want's to know why I haven't been able to come with you, didn't you tell her why?" give him a kiss on the cheek and walk out of the room. He will either hash it out, walk away or make something up.

Go chat with someone, read a magazine, watch t.v. go to the bathroom.
If you are brought into it hash it out, then let it go, with a hug at the end. Pick your words wisely. Never let it escalate to hate.

Yes, we sometimes marry people from families we don't like, but we love the people they raised.

Having to see them only once every three months. Not worth the time and energy, aggravation and time it has taken up in your life. Concentrate on your husband, daughter, and marriage and chalk this up to having a crazy, old, mean mother in law, who should know better.

That is who she is and nothing will change, but you can change the way you think about it.

JMO
Great advice!!!

This is how I have dealt with difficult family members through the years. Don't give them any fuel to feed their fire.

I also liked the 'nobody is perfect'. We all tend to think we are justified in feeling a certain way when we feel slighted. It takes a bigger person to step back from their emotions and see their true role and what's best for the situation and not just themselves.

Being pleasant goes a long way...
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Old 12-29-2012, 12:12 PM   #56
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Thank you, lovavacation. Your answer inspired me. I'm past caring what his family thinks. I raised a great kid, I'm mostly happy in my marriage (except for this inlaw drama). I'm not sure why I'm going when I said I wouldn't. I can't say. Maybe I want a confrontation so it can be over one way or the other. You know the woman syndrome where we do for everyone else but ourselves? I have that affliction in spades. I told him I deserved better and I'm not a horrible person that they should still be so bent on saying things about me. Yes, my SIL hears alot of it and reports back to me. But my daughter gets it also. MIL tells her what a "*****" I am, how she is just like me, how we don't love husband/father and don't appreciate him. We're just evil. I don't know what she's basing this on. They live 200 miles away and are not into our daily business. I'm the one that makes sure she gets a bouquet on her birthday and Mother's Day. He never remembers. I'm the one that told him to call his mother when she had emergency surgury a couple of weeks ago. I'm the one that told him to call his brother to check on him after the funeral of a dear lost loved one. If I'm so evil, why do I do these things??
I'm an idiot, that's why. I'm 53 and I'm so tired of the drama. I understand that my SIL wants to avoid the drama, but on the other hand, she (and I love her to death) likes the drama and has to be in the middle of all of it hence, my thinking she threw me under the bus by saying "Ask her". She should have just said nothing. She had to inform my MIL that we were going to spend the day together. Something I hadn't planned on announcing. But understand that to me loving someone means taking them good and bad. I take my vows very seriously for better or worse but I had finally stood up for myself and said I was not going down there anymore and he was caught off guard. I should have stuck to my guns, I guess, but I caved because he said he needed me there. He didn't want to be in the position of explaining why I didn't come with him. I don't know why. He goes off with his brothers and leaves me with his mom. They need to get over it and I need to find my courage to stand up for myself. Being a nice person doesn't always mean being a pushover (though that's my history). I haven't done anything to them and I have done everything for him. I told him I deserved better than what I was getting from him and from them. Thanks everyone for weighing in and I'll let you know how it pans out!!
How old is your daughter?
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Old 12-29-2012, 12:13 PM   #57
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Your SIL should keep quiet. What did she hope to accomplish by telling you all the horrible things your MIL said about you? She is a poop stirrer. WHo does things like that? Why would you tell someone that they are being badmouthed by another. Either stick up for the person when it happens or just remove yourself from the situation. There is no good reason for her to be telling you anything. IMO she is getting something out of it. I think it is a cruddy thing to do.

Now, if my child came home and told me that Grandma said XYZ about me and I was annoyed by it I would have called up and addressed that myself right then and there. I would not have let that go. You are just harboring that and it should have been taken care of at the time of the incident. At this point you have to just let it go.

My Grandmother told me something when I was younger and I always remember it. This is the gist of it- If you truly don't care about someone then it doesn't matter what they say. They have no effect on you. Love and hate are strong emotions. Indifference comes when you just don't care. So in reality, who cares if they say something or not? Go, smile, treat your own family wonderful, treat them politely like strangers and call it a day. Nobody says you need to be super close lovey dovey. As long as nobody is making snotty comments all day then keep the peace.

Oh- and I have to laugh when you say that your dh won't "allow" you to stay home. What is he going to do? Throw you in the car and strap you in?
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Old 12-29-2012, 12:28 PM   #58
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Your SIL should keep quiet. What did she hope to accomplish by telling you all the horrible things your MIL said about you? She is a poop stirrer. WHo does things like that? Why would you tell someone that they are being badmouthed by another. Either stick up for the person when it happens or just remove yourself from the situation. There is no good reason for her to be telling you anything. IMO she is getting something out of it. I think it is a cruddy thing to do.

Now, if my child came home and told me that Grandma said XYZ about me and I was annoyed by it I would have called up and addressed that myself right then and there. I would not have let that go. You are just harboring that and it should have been taken care of at the time of the incident. At this point you have to just let it go.
My Grandmother told me something when I was younger and I always remember it. This is the gist of it- If you truly don't care about someone then it doesn't matter what they say. They have no effect on you. Love and hate are strong emotions. Indifference comes when you just don't care. So in reality, who cares if they say something or not? Go, smile, treat your own family wonderful, treat them politely like strangers and call it a day. Nobody says you need to be super close lovey dovey. As long as nobody is making snotty comments all day then keep the peace.

Oh- and I have to laugh when you say that your dh won't "allow" you to stay home. What is he going to do? Throw you in the car and strap you in?
This is what I would have done. It can simply have been, " I understand you have a problem with me. That's fine. Do not share your feelings about this with my daughter. Thank-you. Good bye." Non confrontational, to the point, done. It would have driven me crazy to deal with this type of bologna for 25 years- well forget that, I would not have stayed for 25 years with a man who disrespected me but that's me. The OP has done what she feels is best and I don't know about her marriage except about the in laws.

The only part I take issue with is "At this point you have to just let it go." I think it's not too late. It still bothers the OP. Although hashing it out can be hard, it sometimes brings people closer. If not, at least the grievances have been aired.
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Old 12-29-2012, 12:52 PM   #59
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Does your DH know his mother calls you and your daughter "evil"? In what universe is that okay?

It just sounds like a whole lot of denial of reality by everyone. Your MIL knew your daughter would tell you she thinks the both of you are evil. She knew.

Your MIL has put you in an impossible position and she knows it. She is manipulating you and your family by making demands that you come to her house.

You are supposed to pretend her unkind words were never said and make nice with people that think so little of you?

I wouldn't play that game. I won't participate in manipulation games and pretend. Either be real or be gone.
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Old 12-29-2012, 03:18 PM   #60
kmccain
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: NEPa
Posts: 682

If you do not feel comfortable you should not go! No manipulating or guilt your husband places on you should make you. Do not feel bad for your feelings.

(Sitting home while DH is at his family's Christmas)

I have been mistreated by my inlaws for 25 years also. I have done all i can do and i am done! I refuse to put myself in that situation anymore.

Stay strong! Respect yourself!
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