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Major MIL issue..advice needed - Page 2

post #21 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama*pisces View Post
and the second part, I think my MIL and my husband both have this old school view of marriage, that the man is the head of the household, and that the wife's opinion is somewhat secondary to his....I see it as an equal partnership, period.
This is a problem. Have you and your dh talked about this? It's hard to make a marriage work well when you have different pictures of what a marriage that works well looks like, yk?
post #22 of 46
Thread Starter 
Storm Bride...no, I have not. I suppose I should, that is just a recent realization of mine. It's not something I really look forward to discussing, we get along pretty well and he is seems to be ok with following my lead at least some of the time. But we have plenty of differing fundamental beliefs, that I know for sure.

Eclipse, I feel ya! I think that is do-able for me.

GoBecGo...wow. Thank you for your post and your kind words. I really think you are right, and it *almost* makes me want to apologize in the way that you described(but at this point I can make no promises ). I do think I need to seek therapy, and that I need to heal from the birth trauma. It's kind of bizarre, because when it first happened I cried for two straight weeks, and I really thought I was never going to get over the loss of my homebirth, not to mention the horrific c-section. Now it doesn't phase me so much(though the minute details are extremely fuzzy, if nonexistent. My guess is I have blocked them out), but when I think about the thing with my MIL, I get so indignant, hurt, angry, all over again. I kinda wonder if I'm using that pain to mask over the pain of the birth trauma. This could be, but at the same time I don't think that I am blowing the MIL thing out of proportion....the way she treated me was unacceptable all the way across the board, and the fact that she did it 5 days after my horrific birth experience makes it 100 times worse. I think if she would have done it at another time independent of that, it would have been easier for me to forgive her a long time ago(maybe. BIG maybe). But her timing, and her complete lack of consideration for what I had just lived through, are two of the things that hurts most.

But anyway, thank you for taking the time to type that lengthy post, your words really resonated with me.
post #23 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by peainthepod View Post
This icy silence thing you two have going on is definitely not ideal. But things are probably never going back to the way they were before the blowup. I would focus on being pleasant and polite to her as necessary but would stop expecting anything from her emotionally. Someone who refuses to apologize, or who is incapable of admitting that she might share some small amount of blame for the riff between you, is probably not someone you should count on to ever validate your feelings....

I don't think you owe her an apology at all and honestly I'm a little puzzled as to why anyone thinks you do. I don't apologize if I'm not truly sorry, so I'm not going to say you should do that just to calm the waters. In fact I think apologizing when we don't mean it is a great way to enable bad behavior and encourage others to trample our boundaries.
I think the bolded applies to both the MIL and the OP.

As far as why anyone thinks the OP should apologize - because she asked for advice about how to help her get over this, forgive, and move on in a positive family dynamic. The way to do that is to apologize for hurting others (even if it was an accidental or even DESERVED hurting, it is still hurting someone). Taking ownership of one's own actions does not cause or create boundary issues. I personally think it helps with boundaries - we realize what we can control and choose to do and accept, and we draw that line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lonegirl View Post
I guess what I get from reading the OP is that at some point we have to be the bigger person. I would be furious too, I would be hurt, and I wouldn't want to say sorry when I felt there was nothing to say sorry for.....but....I think I would at some point have to be the better person and say "I am sorry. I am sorry you felt I did something to hurt you. I hope we can move on"....
If you want to clear the air between you and your MIL, OP, you can be the bigger person and do it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mama*pisces View Post
Thank you. It is a very weird dynamic. And it DIDN'T have anything to do with her, which is why I don't get why everyone is telling me to apologize!

Really?? Get over myself?? I was in such a delicate place emotionally and physically, and she went off on me, insulted me in so many different ways and then left me hanging. And I'M supposed to say "I'm sorry if I hurt you", when I didn't say a thing to her? I don't think so. A little empathy would be nice, If you don't want advice, then I think you should just put up a support thread, not one asking for advice. And like other PPs have said, being sorry for hurting someone is very different from being sorry for doing whatever.but I suppose you have no idea what it's like to have a family member that you previously trusted stomp all over your broken heart at a time when you really needed love and support. Hopefully you'll never have to realize what that's like, and then have to figure out how to let it go, while having no choice but to have that person remain a constant in your life. Life is messy. We all get hurt by others and we all hurt others. People who are happy and who have pleasant relationships with others like MILs generally choose to let things go even if the other person does very wrong bad things.

I'm not apologizing. I have to let it go somehow, because it has been eating me alive for the past 48 hours. I really think this has become a bigger deal for you because of the amazingly difficult birth you had. Your MIL said some stuff. They're words. They were ill-timed. We ALL do and say stupid things sometimes. Even REALLY stupid things. If you want to let it go I think that being the bigger person and apologizing for your role would help you get toward there, but I am sure there are other routes you can try.I really did like the idea of emailing her, but I think that would have been more helpful to the situation if I had not brought it up verbally again. At this point it would be like beating a dead horse, even though I did not get to voice exactly how horribly wronged I felt by her. The idea of writing to her and not sending it does resonate with me though, I think I may try that. Thank you, Vaske.
I am truly sorry you've had such a terrible time. Your birth sounds so hard. Maybe there is a thread around here to process some of that on? And your MIL is definitely wrong in some things and you and your DH sound like you have a few things to work out. But bottom line for me was that you wanted to get rid of the anger and pain and I think that a lot of us have suggested really tangible ways to do that.

Tjej
post #24 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjej View Post
I think the bolded applies to both the MIL and the OP.

As far as why anyone thinks the OP should apologize - because she asked for advice about how to help her get over this, forgive, and move on in a positive family dynamic. The way to do that is to apologize for hurting others (even if it was an accidental or even DESERVED hurting, it is still hurting someone). Taking ownership of one's own actions does not cause or create boundary issues. I personally think it helps with boundaries - we realize what we can control and choose to do and accept, and we draw that line.
If I poke a tiger with a stick and it bites me, I don't expect an apology from the tiger. If a woman provokes (berates, interferes with, and yells at just inches from her face) a post-partum woman who is recovering from a major trauma and gets her feelings hurt in the process, well...I guess my sympathy for her is pretty nonexistent. Apologizing to someone just because they expect it, when you really have nothing to apologize for, is in my opinion an excellent way to show that person that you are their doormat. OP is already experiencing boundaries issues with her MIL and I completely disagree that the best way to react to her MIL's (IMO) bad behavior is to apologize just to placate her. Being the "bigger person" with someone who already has boundaries issues almost always makes them worse, in my experience. And her MIL sounds to have boundaries issues galore.

Granted, we're only hearing one side of the story and I do agree that OP should see a therapist privately to help process the trauma of her birth, but her MIL's treatment of her--both before and after the birth--was totally unacceptable and she has every right to say so.
post #25 of 46
I would expect a lot more understanding from my husband. Of course you blew up at him- you were being shooed away from your crying, screaming toddler. You were in the midst of physical pain, emotional pain, hormones and guilt over being absent to your son. It would have been much more helpful if your mil and dh had just let you do whatever it was you had to do. You were really not yourself in the moment and I doubt you had much control over your actions in the state you were in. Especially as you can't even remember yelling- you were in a daze.

That being said, maybe your memory of this situation has attached itself to all the other pain you were experiencing at that time and made it so much harder to let go. Forgiveness means letting go of your end of the rope. You are in a tug-of-war with your mil about who has the right to feel hurt. You both have the right to feel hurt but the right thing to do is to let go of your end of the rope- for your sanity and mental health.
post #26 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElliesMomma View Post
what would i do? i would LET IT GO. for gosh sakes, this is all very very petty. i know it seems "major" and all, but there could be far far worse things going on.

get over yourself and tell the woman "i'm sorry if i hurt you." i'd be willing to bet that she will quickly say the same back to you, and you two can then simply drop it, and start being friendly again with no eerie silences.

and you get to be the "bigger person" -- the first one to apologize.

don't wait another day.
Um, seriously? Did you even read her post? She had the most traumatic experience of her life, and this woman was completely and utterly insensitive.

OP, some people don't understand birth trauma. Your MIL (and some of the people who replied to you) are some of those people.

I have mean IL's too. Here's how I deal. I tell them what's happening with OUR family and don't leave room for argument. For example 'MIL, we are having people over to our house on Thanksgiving Day. We'd love to have you come. No, BIL and SIL are not invited. If you need to see them on Thanksgiving, we can get together earlier in the week, BUT we are having OUR day on Thanksgiving Day.' OR 'MIL, it is not okay with me for you to quiz DS on what he has learned at home lately. We do school work when/how it works for us. No, you cannot make him write out things for you either. That's not how OUR FAMILY does school at home.'

Make the focus YOUR FAMILY - you, your DH, and YOUR kids. She is not one of the parents in your family, nor does she get to be. Make it really clear to her also that you really DO want her around, but she'll have to agree to XYZ. It is really, really, hard at first, but oh my gosh it's so much easier than how things were before for us.

FWIW - I dropped how she had hurt me. I've never brought it up, and I never will. It's just not worth the hassle. Also, I've learned that I can only give so much; a relationship has to be two people giving, and your MIL is not giving anything except a nice face hen it matters. So, expect that and nothing else. Maybe someday it will change.

Also - talk to your DH about standing up for you. YOU are his family now. Two shall become one and leave their mother and father. I know it's from the Bible, and it is SO true!! And I rarely quote the good book
post #27 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama*pisces View Post
(DH and MIL both say that sometime within these few minutes, I also started screaming at DH, who was giving me a hard time about following him up the stairs after he had told me that he would handle it...but honestly, I don't remember screaming at him at all, and when DH told me that I apologized).
Newly postpartum, hurting, sleep deprived, hormonal, angry...I wouldn't hold you to anything you did. But I wanted to point out that you don't really remember. It's not fair to hold your MIL to something that isn't even clear when so much of the anger is about some of the nuance.
How much is anger about her actions and how much is anger over the possibility that she ruined your homebirth and maybe make you have surgery? Until you chew on that, I doubt you'll she'd ever please you with anything she says. I'd guess this is more about losing your vaginal birth than pj's.
post #28 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama*pisces View Post
I was trying to test the waters and see if she would actually validate my feelings, and bring some closure to this matter. Now I know that will never happen, and I won't bring it up again. It makes me sad that things won't ever be the way they were before all this happened...I no longer truly feel like they are my family, because of that occurence and because I feel constantly judged by them. But it could be worse I guess, at least they are good with my kids(now)...
It may well be that you won't ever have the relationship with them that you want. It's OK to grieve that. If they really are judging you (only you can tell), then you can't really have a decent relationship.

But I would also gently point out that families have arguments. It's difficult when it's in-laws vs. your family of origin, but it is possible to get past family disagreements. You have a new understanding of hwat your MIL is/isn't like, and may eventually be able to accept her for who she is.

I also second those who have said that this is probably 100x 'bigger' in your mind because of the surrounding birth issues than it might seem to others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post
I would apologise. Why? Because it would cost me nothing to say "i'm sorry you felt hurt". That's not "I'm sorry *i hurt you*", which is a whole other thing. And besides i think she is wrong for feeling how she does, and so apologising to her over her feeling that way is genuine, i AM sorry she feels hurt, because, though i won't say it, it's irrational, selfish and kind of weird to me that she does.


You can express your empathy for someone without accepting their reality. At this point in time, I probably wouldn't bring up the incident again, because it doesn't sound like it would profitable. But should a similar incident happen with her (or anyone else), a good way to START these conversations is: "I'd like to talk. I'm sensing that you feel hurt, and I'm sorry that you feel hurt."


Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post
I really encourage you to get some counselling for help dealing with the birth mama, you are expecting an awful lot of yourself in trying to get over it unassisted.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Apricot View Post
How much is anger about her actions and how much is anger over the possibility that she ruined your homebirth and maybe make you have surgery? Until you chew on that, I doubt you'll she'd ever please you with anything she says. I'd guess this is more about losing your vaginal birth than pj's.
I agree -- do you maybe subconsciously blame her for causing your labor to stall? Even if you don't, counseling for you to heal from your birth experience would be helpful.
post #29 of 46
I probably have a bit of a different perspective here. I've had two sets of in-laws - my first husband died of cancer several years ago when we were in our late 20s. His parents were difficult to deal with. It seemed like things would get better for a while, that we had at least agreed to disagree on certain subjects and drop some arguments - and then right as I started to relax a bit, another blow-up would happen. There were absolutely times when they displaced their anger and hurt about other issues onto me (i.e. their younger son's behavior was a major problem, especially when we first got together - and at least one memorable time, his mother screamed at me right after fighting with her other son). My late husband had also reached the point very early in life where he felt he couldn't easily be himself with his parents' input. Later, I think they blamed the fact that he almost never asked for or took his parents' advice on me (although that had been going on for several years before we got together). They don't deal well when they're not allowed to control people they feel they should be able to control. Until I came into the picture in an increasingly serious way, my late husband just avoided dealing with life choices and permission issues with his parents whenever he could. But my being there challenged their illusion that they still had some control over, and an open relationship with, my late husband. It took a while, but my late husband realized he needed to form a strong, unified front with me - that that was the only way to help keep them from getting between us (they even physically tried to separate us when there were disagreements at times!). Some times were rather bad. But the fact that we had a unified front 90% of the time - and pulled ranks even more closely together when they got really belligerent - kept a lot of incidents from getting far, far worse.

When he was dying of cancer, at times they did help us out. But there were also times when, even though we could have used help (and if my family wasn't around), we politely but very firmly told them in particular that we had decisions to make that we needed to make alone. Obviously that was hard for them - they were his parents. But ultimately - after his death - they actually appreciated me more and realized how much my late husband and I loved each other and how good we were for each other, even if they didn't always agree with being shut out or didn't like it when we didn't take their advice.

Why bring this up? I agree with the posters who said you and your DH really have some stuff to work on. I understand trying to avoid difficult conversations... but after a while, when it's something major like what type of relationship you are trying to work towards (husband-as-head/wife-subservient vs. a partnership), you MUST discuss it and figure out for yourselves how to work it through. Biblical or just psychological counseling-based, I agree with the poster who mentioned that a husband is supposed to make a home - psychologically as well as physically - with his wife. There WILL be times when it will be utterly impossible to please - or even appease - both wife and mother. When push comes to shove, especially in a stressful period, a married adult man needs to side with his wife when talking with his mother. This may mean that husband and wife have A LOT of discussing to do behind the scenes later - but in the semi-public situation of dealing with in-laws, there needs to be a unified front. Period.

While your MIL was quite unreasonable (I think you don't owe her an apology, FWIW), the bigger issue I see is your DH needing to realize that he needs to make sure he his protecting and nurturing his home front... even if his Mommy isn't always happy about it! I'm not saying that he should be oppositional to his mother for no reason. When it's a small tiff, trying to ignore it, or if she's persistent, make a comment along the lines of, "Gee, Mom, thanks for that different perspective. We'll consider that when we discuss the issue privately later. More cornbread?" is the way to go. If she really pushes her way into issues that are not her business - even if she's helping out with something - your husband needs to stand up to his mother and tell her that that is her perspective based on her own life and how she chose to raise her kids - but now it's his family, his perspective, and his wife and kids, and she has to respect that - or take her opinion elsewhere.

As far as your MIL, I also think that when it comes to child-raising, people of previous generations often get particularly defensive because they think that if you don't do things exactly how they did it with their kids, that by definition they were bad parents. So instead, they attack you and call YOU the bad parent for not doing things their way! Perhaps if it helps, you can try to see her criticisms as being rooted in a deep insecurity about whether or not she did right by her kids. While I think (unfortunately) most of us will have at least some things we'll wish in retrospect we did better, perhaps she really feels she did some things wrong (maybe because of FIL's being so autocratic?), and regrets it, but can't voice that. While my now-husband's mother is cautious about saying too much (not-great relationship with other DIL), she has at times made these comments re: breastfeeding that have irritated me. She did nurse her kids, but on a more limited basis, plus I think alternate cultural issues were at play. But I think she wishes she could have nursed longer (she worked at least part-time) and probably feels badly about that, so I figure the comments come from her own regrets as much as being somewhat ill-informed about current recommendations for breastfeeding, and some well-meaning (if uninformed) concern for both my and my son's well-being.

I also strongly, strongly agree that you need to get some kind of therapy. Look around your area - often there are sliding-scale programs out there, volunteer counseling through churches (if you're open to that), etc. I didn't go through a fraction of what you went through for your second birth, but it still took me some time to process some of what happened with my son's birth.

We all come to our relationships with our own unique baggage, for better and worse. I'm doing therapy now - and I'm finding that a lot of my own parents' parenting choices are coming up rather painfully as I work out my own goals for my son. For the most part, I have forgiven them for a lot of that - I just have to work through some remaining hurt and try to use it to better inform my own approach. And I also have found that my experiences with my late husband's parents, as well as remaining hurt from that, has been an issue. Plus, they pretty much stopped communicating with me when I got engaged, although they did give us a wedding gift and a baby gift, which was nice of them. But they were my family for several years, so it does hurt to have lost them (as well as extended family on that side, but that's a whole other set of issues), and know that they wish their son was still here instead of me (that's just fact, and I understand that). So I do understand about hurt from in-laws.

Ultimately, I do agree that you can only control what your reaction is - to a point. But it's not easy to start to let go of situations like this, especially if you're a "stewer" as I am. I don't agree with dishonest "apologies" when you don't mean it, especially when it's likely to just get your MIL to jump all over you once again. Writing the letter to not send is a good way to think about it and work through your perspective.

But, you and DH need to work on your style as a couple, and your approach in dealing with family - especially your in-laws. I think it's perfectly appropriate to take breaks occasionally from family, if needed, to regroup and decide on what you will accept in the relationship. But things will likely only improve if you and DH work things through and decide on a unified approach. It won't be easy at first, but it's necessary and will ultimately likely improve things.

Hope this helps - maybe my insomnia tonight will be good for someone.
post #30 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
I agree -- do you maybe subconsciously blame her for causing your labor to stall? Even if you don't, counseling for you to heal from your birth experience would be helpful.
I don't...really, I don't. My labor had been really irregular all day, still very much in the early stages. I mentioned that she came in and said that because it was just part of what happened. I certainly don't appreciate her coming in and telling me that in the midst of my labor, but I don't hold her responsible for the loss of my homebirth. The bottom line is that DH and I should have hired a doula.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apricot View Post
Newly postpartum, hurting, sleep deprived, hormonal, angry...I wouldn't hold you to anything you did. But I wanted to point out that you don't really remember. It's not fair to hold your MIL to something that isn't even clear when so much of the anger is about some of the nuance.
How much is anger about her actions and how much is anger over the possibility that she ruined your homebirth and maybe make you have surgery? Until you chew on that, I doubt you'll she'd ever please you with anything she says. I'd guess this is more about losing your vaginal birth than pj's.
Here I need to clarify: the only thing that is a blur to me is when I screamed at DH. Right after that is when I entered the room to go to ds, which is when she started going off on me, starting with: "You are creating a MONSTER! He is like this because YOU have allowed him to be...." and went on with the tirade from there. So I do remember.

My anger at her is about her actions, when I was newly post-partum, grieving the loss of my birth, in horrendous physical pain. I needed understanding, compassion. I needed my 3 year old to be treated with compassion by his grandma, since he was also going through a major life change. And I thought that I would get some form of that from her, as I used to consider her my second mother. That's why she was there. I never even so much as gave her a dirty look, and she completely flamed me after I yelled at her grown son, my husband. I still have some residual pain from the loss of my vaginal birth...but the only way that it is tied in with this is that she should have had that much more compassion towards me because of it. So I would say it has a little to do with the pj's, but more so to do with how she treated me, as a person, just a few short days after the most traumatic experience of my life. That's what it's about. Me yelling at her grown child is NOTHING compared to that.

And that is all I have to say about that, for now anyway. I am taking a deep breath, going to go have some lunch, and later I will write the e-mail that I may or may not send. I am going to seek therapy. And there is a great-looking book that I am going to check out that I was just given a recommendation to by PM, here. I will work on forgiving her. That is all I can do at this time.

Thank you for your understanding and advice, mamas.
post #31 of 46
I have an apology for your MIL for you.
"I'm sorry, we won't be able to see you for awhile because you called my child a monster."
post #32 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Julybug View Post
Why bring this up? I agree with the posters who said you and your DH really have some stuff to work on. I understand trying to avoid difficult conversations... but after a while, when it's something major like what type of relationship you are trying to work towards (husband-as-head/wife-subservient vs. a partnership), you MUST discuss it and figure out for yourselves how to work it through. Biblical or just psychological counseling-based, I agree with the poster who mentioned that a husband is supposed to make a home - psychologically as well as physically - with his wife. There WILL be times when it will be utterly impossible to please - or even appease - both wife and mother. When push comes to shove, especially in a stressful period, a married adult man needs to side with his wife when talking with his mother. This may mean that husband and wife have A LOT of discussing to do behind the scenes later - but in the semi-public situation of dealing with in-laws, there needs to be a unified front. Period.
I agree. And I think he agrees, but there are underlying issues with us regarding this. I have always backed him up when it's come to issues with my mom(they don't get along either, go figure) -- but with our son, I've had a hard time backing him(DH) up at times, because he has had a tendency to overreact to things DS has done, so in the moment I've wanted to back him up, but usually gave in to my motherly instinct telling me that my son needs a defender, because DH had trouble understanding that what was going on was just age-appropriate behavior and that anger was not helping things (I know, that's not "right", per say, but it is something that I have been working on and it has gotten better over time...he has also gotten a bit gentler over time). Considering all that, I think he had a hard time backing me up when his mom blew up at me, especially since I had just screamed at him too. Understandable, I guess. Though I would love it if he would bring it up with her now, now that he has been apologized to, and has more understanding of where I'm coming from and how much I still hurt(we actually talked about it last night, and he was not angry, and more understanding than he's been in the past). I'm not going to suggest that he do that, nor am I going to hold my breath waiting for it to happen. But it would be nice.

Quote:

As far as your MIL, I also think that when it comes to child-raising, people of previous generations often get particularly defensive because they think that if you don't do things exactly how they did it with their kids, that by definition they were bad parents. So instead, they attack you and call YOU the bad parent for not doing things their way! Perhaps if it helps, you can try to see her criticisms as being rooted in a deep insecurity about whether or not she did right by her kids. While I think (unfortunately) most of us will have at least some things we'll wish in retrospect we did better, perhaps she really feels she did some things wrong (maybe because of FIL's being so autocratic?), and regrets it, but can't voice that.
I definitely, definitely agree with the bolded part. I can see this in her(she also breastfed but for no more than 4 months). That's a good way of looking at it, thanks.

And yeah, I guess you could say that I'm a "stewer". She was out of sight out of mind for a while, except for the quick drop-off/pick-ups of ds, but when she started coming over to try to help around the house it really brought the whole thing to the forefront of my mind again. Maybe I am just not ready to start hanging out with her again....maybe after I have been through some therapy I will be. For now I will definitely keep some distance.

Thanks Julybug, I appreciate the time you took in sharing your perspective.
post #33 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
I have an apology for your MIL for you.
"I'm sorry, we won't be able to see you for awhile because you called my child a monster."
post #34 of 46
i think a lot of women don't really care about their births, or rather, they are told that the only improtant thing is that you have a healthy baby. so they aren't allowed to feel any emotions about their own birth and treat women who are emotionally tied to their birth with resentment. i wouldn't expect mil to get *why* you needed to grieve your birth.

i don't think you are going to get any kind of apology out of her. for anything, cause she thinks that YOU are the horrible parent.

i would apologize for the way things turned out. that's it. "i am sorry things didn't turn out differntly". then, i would let it go, and know that i can't and won't be relying on her for anything beyond taking ds out for the afternoon every once in a while. if she tried to engage in a conversation about the event(s), i would jsut say, i don't want to talk about beyond this point. i am sorry it didn't turn out differntly and no more conversation. cause it won't be a conversation, it will be her harping at you for your choices.

personally i would hesitate about letting him sleep over there cause i wouldn't trust their discipline. in every other way i wouldn't try to get between ds and mil relationship- that is between them and he is allowed to have a gma.

then i would have a lot of discussions with dh about what his parenting choices are. i understand having 2 different ideas about parenting, but you need to be on the same page. i would focus my energy on my parenting relationship with dh. and treat mil kindly, respectfully, but not allow any other situations where she might feel that she can give you any 'advice" abotu your parenting. and know that you can't have a close relationship with her. no more shopping, or hangin out.
post #35 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse View Post
I understand why you're furious, and I, personally, wouldn't apologize to her for anything. What I would do, assuming she was going to be in my life, is just not talk about that specific incident again and be very alert and and at the first sign of her being disrespectful to me in the future, meet it with a "You are not allowed to talk to me/treat me like that. Please leave/I'm leaving." Don't count on her for help or support in anything - just be pleasant as long as she is respecting your boundaries - and those boundaries can certainly include not interfering with your discipline of your children or inserting herself into marital disagreements.
i agree. i personally wouldn't apologize but i would move on and let go. i would def get some major space between us and take dh to therapy. because what you went through sounds so god awful and on top of it for them to stress you out.
post #36 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rachel_eva View Post
i think a lot of women don't really care about their births, or rather, they are told that the only improtant thing is that you have a healthy baby. so they aren't allowed to feel any emotions about their own birth and treat women who are emotionally tied to their birth with resentment. i wouldn't expect mil to get *why* you needed to grieve your birth.

i don't think you are going to get any kind of apology out of her. for anything, cause she thinks that YOU are the horrible parent.

i would apologize for the way things turned out. that's it. "i am sorry things didn't turn out differntly". then, i would let it go, and know that i can't and won't be relying on her for anything beyond taking ds out for the afternoon every once in a while. if she tried to engage in a conversation about the event(s), i would jsut say, i don't want to talk about beyond this point. i am sorry it didn't turn out differntly and no more conversation. cause it won't be a conversation, it will be her harping at you for your choices.

personally i would hesitate about letting him sleep over there cause i wouldn't trust their discipline. in every other way i wouldn't try to get between ds and mil relationship- that is between them and he is allowed to have a gma.

then i would have a lot of discussions with dh about what his parenting choices are. i understand having 2 different ideas about parenting, but you need to be on the same page. i would focus my energy on my parenting relationship with dh. and treat mil kindly, respectfully, but not allow any other situations where she might feel that she can give you any 'advice" abotu your parenting. and know that you can't have a close relationship with her. no more shopping, or hangin out.
First bolded part...that never even occurred to me, but it makes total sense, considering that she had three c-sections, and has never once expressed regret about any of them. I never expected her to get *why* it was important to me, but thought that she might show me some sympathy anyway, whether she understood my reasoning or not. But, not everyone is capable of that, and especially not if there is some hidden resentment there about me actually caring about how the birth went. Interesting.

Second bolded part...what's surprising about all this is that now, even my FIL has relaxed a little bit, not necessarily in his views, but in how he treats ds. They have actually spent a considerable amount of time together over the past few months and have really bonded, and ds has never (let me knock on wood here) had any behavioral "issues" while over there, ever since we lived there. I'm pretty certain that my IL's know that there is a huge line that they are not to cross regarding discipline, and that all HELL would break loose should one of them ever strike him. And he is old enough now to tell me if anything should ever go down over there. So, I am pretty ok with it, but am still ready to call off any and all sleepovers if I hear any differently. DD will not be sleeping over there til she is at LEAST three, and probably not til four.

And at the thought of going shopping with her again! I think not. The hanging out was because she came over here to help out, but I can definitely do without that help for now.
post #37 of 46
I can kinda relate, I think. After my birth trauma I spent a long time fixated on this idea that if my dh would just get it everything would be all better. He came with me to therapy and finally kinda did, but other than getting us out of the cycle of me looking for validation and getting hurt again ad nauseum it didn't really help like I thought it would.

I was just struck by the similarities to your post and thought I'd share. Good luck.
post #38 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama*pisces View Post
I agree. And I think he agrees, but there are underlying issues with us regarding this. I have always backed him up when it's come to issues with my mom(they don't get along either, go figure) -- but with our son, I've had a hard time backing him(DH) up at times, because he has had a tendency to overreact to things DS has done, so in the moment I've wanted to back him up, but usually gave in to my motherly instinct telling me that my son needs a defender, because DH had trouble understanding that what was going on was just age-appropriate behavior and that anger was not helping things (I know, that's not "right", per say, but it is something that I have been working on and it has gotten better over time...he has also gotten a bit gentler over time). Considering all that, I think he had a hard time backing me up when his mom blew up at me,
The two aren't the same thing at all. You have a duty to your son - while it can be hard to find the line with the other parent, you do have an underlying responsibility to protect your ds. (DH and I have each intervened with the other when lines are being crossed, due to fatigue, overwork, etc.) Your dh does not have a duty to protect his mom from his wife. I mean, yeah - if you were completely wigging out and physically threatening her or something, sure - but he doesn't have a duty to take his mom's side in an argument. Considering the overall circumstances here (traumatic birth, still physically recovering from surgery, pp hormones, etc.), he quite definitely has/had a duty to you. I think it's almost fair to say that protecting his wife (and child) in those early days is one of a husband's most fundamental responsibilities.

Quote:
especially since I had just screamed at him too. Understandable, I guess.
Well, it's not understandable to me, but if you and your dh have worked through some of that, that's great. I've had too many c-sections, and if my dh ever showed up anywhere except in my corner in the early days afterwards, there would be hell to pay.
post #39 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
I have an apology for your MIL for you.
"I'm sorry, we won't be able to see you for awhile because you called my child a monster."
I love the way you think!
post #40 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
The two aren't the same thing at all. You have a duty to your son - while it can be hard to find the line with the other parent, you do have an underlying responsibility to protect your ds. (DH and I have each intervened with the other when lines are being crossed, due to fatigue, overwork, etc.) Your dh does not have a duty to protect his mom from his wife. I mean, yeah - if you were completely wigging out and physically threatening her or something, sure - but he doesn't have a duty to take his mom's side in an argument. Considering the overall circumstances here (traumatic birth, still physically recovering from surgery, pp hormones, etc.), he quite definitely has/had a duty to you. I think it's almost fair to say that protecting his wife (and child) in those early days is one of a husband's most fundamental responsibilities.


Well, it's not understandable to me, but if you and your dh have worked through some of that, that's great. I've had too many c-sections, and if my dh ever showed up anywhere except in my corner in the early days afterwards, there would be hell to pay.
*I* understand it's not the same thing, but I don't think he does.

I really don't think he gets how much of a different person a woman can become during the PP period, and how much hormones really do take over. So he took offense to me screaming at him, and then I guess he went back to his "She never backs me up" thinking(never is a gross exaggeration here, but I think that is how he felt at the time), and thus had trouble defending me to his mom when she blew up at me. I can forgive him for that, because I see where he is coming from and he was caught in the middle. But now that he's had time to think it over, I feel like he should realize that he should have defended me, or at least explain to his mom NOW that she was totally out of line...because it would at least make up a little for not standing up for me then, and I would feel better knowing that HE at last understands. But, I don't think he quite gets it.

Thank you, Storm Bride, I think you just helped me to clarify why I am still upset with him regarding all this. As far as what I'm going to do about it...I guess drag him to therapy with me, especially since we have plenty more to work through as a couple...
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