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Awkward MIL situation - Page 2

post #21 of 59
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the support! I am not sure how to highlight specific portions of a comment so I just copied this from minnowmomma's reply:

"When people who are unrelated want to be called by an honorary title it needs to be earned not given because you feel pressured"

because this is exactly how I feel! I do feel like Pop is an honorary title. My Dad gives me so much in his life, he is a really great dad- and I love him being my son's grandpa. He earned that title! And dh's dad also is a good dad to dh- and our dads give us so much and love and raised us- they are our son's granpas. this other guy- I don't think he is really a bad or creepy guy- I think he just pisses me off so much that he just assumes this intimate relations with ds- or with me. Not unsavory intimate- I don't think he is creepy in that way, but just assuming he can have that relationship with my son because he married dh's mom- I think it is wrong.

As for MIL- well she is not always mean to me. She had a really rude out burst to me that I mentioned above, and she does have some issues with me. but at other times she can be kind too- she is a good and nice person but we are just butting heads on some issues. but she is SO offended that I won't let this one go! I know I am not perfect with her- dh and I had some challenging living situations this year and there were some times where we had to stay with her, in a place of hers, and she had to do some things that were going out of her way for us- and I guess I wasn't as grateful to her for her help as I should have been. We have this weird dynamic where perhaps I expect too much from her- assume she can help us out when I need her, because I am used to my own parents being helpful people to me without any guilting me- and since we needed MIL because of some living space challenges- and she is in the same town and my own parents are in another state, we leaned on her hard and I guess put her out some. So I guess she actually resents me for it and I guess I can see her side of the story. But still- no matter what I totally agree with the part I quoted as that is really what I am getting at.

thanks!

post #22 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snapdragon View Post

Has anyone here been in a similar situation, or can see my perspective on this?



 

Hey Snap,

I can see your perspective entirely. I am a lot like you in that I am a bit reserved and private. I am always butting heads with my inlaws on boundaries/privacy issues and it doesn't go well often. My MIL especially I have a hard time with now that we have her only grandchild. I wish I could be more relaxed about her but she is so passive-aggressive I can't take it sometimes.

 

Also, I have to agree with the others. (I don't think it's a small deal...but...) I just think you can't "win" this battle if your husband doesn't feel the way you do. Like you do with children, do with your MIL, and pick your battles. I'm sorry you are stuck with her!

post #23 of 59

My kids have three grandpa's.  My dad is "plain" grandpa and my dh's dad and step-dad are grandpa "first names".  Not saying you have to do this at all.  You need to be comfortable.  But at the same time a lot of people have major issues with kiddos calling anyone by just their first name.  I am personally not one of them and neither is my sister but it drives my mom batty that our kids' friends call us by our first names and that is only one generation apart.  Two , in some sets would be scandalous.

post #24 of 59
Thread Starter 

Thanks! I think you posted just as I was posting the above post- in all fairness just want to reiterate that my MIL can be really nice, and means well, and is a really good mom to dh- raised him up very well- and she LOVES our son and is very sweet with him- and has been very helpful to us. she is not at all a bad person. We are just butting heads right now on some fundamental things.

post #25 of 59

I guess in my family marrying my MIL would give this guy the entre into my life that you are objecting to. We tend to go out of our way to welcome new family members. I kinda figure that if they make my family member happy the least I can do is welcome them into the fold. Sometimes I have to "fake it until I make it", but I try. It sends a clear message to my family that I love them enough to put the effort forth to get to know and learn more about the person they love. So to me the name Pop would be something I would grin and bear. I might try to find the least objectionable form of the name I could, but I'd do it just to let my MIL know that I love her and therefore I want to see her happy. If being with this man makes her happy I will support her in that.

post #26 of 59

Maybe it would be best just to tell her as soon as the whole family is comfortable together grandchild can pick a name that is suitable.  And when I mean comfortable I mean you all know each other better.  I do get the being forced thing as being unfair and uncomfortable.  DH's dad wanted to be called papa... nice but I won't correct my children if they say the wrong name.  I'm not calling him Papa so I'm not sure where they'll pick up on that one.  They call him Grandpa and that's what they're comfortable with. 

 

He really doesn't get to just jump in and get a name.  And MIL should know it's not very fair.  But then again it's a MIL and they're soooooooooo easy to get a long with.  Mine once told me to get on a plane and go home because I was uncomfortable with all the smoke in the house.  So I got in the car and drove two states away to stay with my crazy cousin... MIL felt like SHYTE!  And still does for that one.  I came back when our trip was over.  Don't give me an out... I'll take it!

post #27 of 59
Thread Starter 

yes, MIL's and son's wives are notorious for not getting along! I think about this all the time when she and I have a spat- I think, well, I am one of MANY daughter in laws right now spatting with their MIL's.

post #28 of 59

Hey OP - i just wanted to chime in with a perspective you may have overlooked - that of your LO.  My mother lost her father to a plane crash in 1962, her mother remarried in 1970.   My own mother had married in 1968 and i was born in 1969.  I grew up thinking of my grandmothers husband as my grandfather.   i realize your DH's father is still in the picture and that does make it different - but  that man my Grandmother married was a wonderful kind man (whom my Mother HATED!)   i have no idea what i started out calling him, i do recall calling him Grandpa during my childhood, my Mother never really totally accepted him, but it did not diminsh his relationship with us kids.  I have to say i think "pop pop"  or "poppie"  (youre right ' Pop' is short for Dad)  i think is totally reasonable.  Im glad that my Mom hid her feelings of hatred for her new step father - my grandfather was terrific and im glad i had a relationship with him and was proud to call him Grandpa.

LOL - on a stranger note....my DH just mentioned this last night.  I am remarried and my kids from my previous marriage call my husband by his first name, and his parents "Mr. and Mrs. Xyz"   LOL  i guess i just thought that was more polite! Sheepish.gif

post #29 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snapdragon View Post

Has anyone here been in a similar situation, or can see my perspective on this?


Yes.  My mother left my father for another man when DS was just an infant.  It tore our family apart at the seems.  DH and I agreed long before DS could talk that we would have DS call him by his first name.  DS had other ideas and no amount of correcting him would change it.  Turns out, my mom's (now) husband is a fantastic part of DS's life and we are lucky to have him. 

 

My point is, you may guide your child to call this man "uncle joe" or whatever until you are blue in the face but when your child picks his own name for Step Grandfather, it will likely stick like glue.  I have seen this happen in intact families as well, where a grandmother wanted to be GiGi, for example, and got stuck with "Grammy" because that is what DC picked.  

post #30 of 59

OP, I completely see your point of view!

 

However, I kind of grew up in the same situation on the other side so let me share my story.

 

My grandpa (dad's dad) died when I was 10, my sister was 8, and my mom was pregnant with my littlest sister. My grandma remarried very soon after. My grandma and her new husband wanted us kids to call him "poppa" which felt weird for basically most of the reasons you listed. We didn't know him, it was a weird nickname, we had other grandparents, our parents didn't feel like he was family. So we grew up calling him by his first name "Mel."

 

Even my baby sister who had really ever know him in a grandparent role (much like it will be for your DS).

 

Even though it was awkward at first for me and my 8 year old sister because we had had a grandpa that Mel was essentially replacing (and he wasn't the grandfatherly type), over the years he DID become like a grandpa to us. He was always there for our family functions and evolved from being the man that our grandma was married to to really being a part of the family. He just passed away a few months ago (I'm 27 now) and I miss him just as much as I do my biological grandparents. Once we were older I felt bad that we called him "Mel" because he was our grandpa but it was just too weird to start doing it.

 

Anyways, just my 2 cents.

post #31 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snapdragon View Post

Thanks for the support! I am not sure how to highlight specific portions of a comment so I just copied this from minnowmomma's reply:

"When people who are unrelated want to be called by an honorary title it needs to be earned not given because you feel pressured"

because this is exactly how I feel! I do feel like Pop is an honorary title. My Dad gives me so much in his life, he is a really great dad- and I love him being my son's grandpa. He earned that title! And dh's dad also is a good dad to dh- and our dads give us so much and love and raised us- they are our son's granpas. this other guy- I don't think he is really a bad or creepy guy- I think he just pisses me off so much that he just assumes this intimate relations with ds- or with me. Not unsavory intimate- I don't think he is creepy in that way, but just assuming he can have that relationship with my son because he married dh's mom- I think it is wrong.

As for MIL- well she is not always mean to me. She had a really rude out burst to me that I mentioned above, and she does have some issues with me. but at other times she can be kind too- she is a good and nice person but we are just butting heads on some issues. but she is SO offended that I won't let this one go! I know I am not perfect with her- dh and I had some challenging living situations this year and there were some times where we had to stay with her, in a place of hers, and she had to do some things that were going out of her way for us- and I guess I wasn't as grateful to her for her help as I should have been. We have this weird dynamic where perhaps I expect too much from her- assume she can help us out when I need her, because I am used to my own parents being helpful people to me without any guilting me- and since we needed MIL because of some living space challenges- and she is in the same town and my own parents are in another state, we leaned on her hard and I guess put her out some. So I guess she actually resents me for it and I guess I can see her side of the story. But still- no matter what I totally agree with the part I quoted as that is really what I am getting at.

thanks!



 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Snapdragon View Post

Thanks! I think you posted just as I was posting the above post- in all fairness just want to reiterate that my MIL can be really nice, and means well, and is a really good mom to dh- raised him up very well- and she LOVES our son and is very sweet with him- and has been very helpful to us. she is not at all a bad person. We are just butting heads right now on some fundamental things.

In my family, and DH's family, if you marry in you are considered part of the family. Bottom line. Unless you don't trust your MIL's judgement then there should be no reason this new man shouldn't have a relationship with his new family. You say you're MIL is nice, sweet, helpful, not a bad person. But you want to push away the man she loves and has chosen to marry. That seems very unfair. 
 

 

post #32 of 59
Thread Starter 

My mil has some good qualities and some bad-  like anyone. I highlighted sme of her better qualities because I didn't want to paint her as a villian- but I could easily list some of the things that are not so nice about her. her husband- I am still on the fence about him but i have always had this underlying gut feeling of wanting to keep him at bay. I don't know him well enough to know his story or his life or anything- I just know something about him makes me want to keep my distance.  there have been a few incidents in our short knowing of each other where he has been rude to me and snapped at me- and I feel uneasy with him. he seems to make mil happy so I am glad she is glad to have him. the other things I feel I have already mentioned above.

 


Edited by Snapdragon - 11/2/11 at 4:21pm
post #33 of 59

In agreement with the above.  The mother of your husband got married recently.  That really does confer some special consideration for him, out of respect for your MIL.  You will get a little more comfortable with him, or at least more accustomed to him, and it will all feel a little more natural.   

 

Just some perspective, as the mom of a 12 y.o. and a 16 y.o.  To reiterate what was said previously,  it helps to put yourself in your child's shoes if you can.  He's going to have his own childhood, just like you had a childhood that was different from your mom's.

 

Doesn't mean I don't get your discomfort, I do.  I dunno what you call FIL.  Pop equals Dad in my book, too.  In fact my FIL asked me to call him Pop when dh and I got married.  I couldn't do it.  For the same reasons you described, OP, it felt too forced.   And I'd already known him for 5 years. 

 

 

post #34 of 59
Thread Starter 

yeah, pop does feel like dad to me too!

I just right now had a pretty good phone conversation w- MIL., We didn't bring up this issue- but regarding the other issues we have we kind of agreed to disagree- and agreed that the good things abuot our relatioship outweigh the bad- so she asked if we could simply move forward and be nice. i agreed. I tend to like to hash things out to the end-  I like talking about heavy things and working through every detail of things- but she does not. so i get that. So I feel a little better about the whole thing.

I did have dh talk to her and explain my view on the pop thing, but that is still not figured ouot. but it all feels a little better and she just babysat ds for a little while so things are feeling okay right now.

Thanks for letting me process this here, it has helped. I am still sure I don't want ds to call sfiL pop- but we will figure something out.

post #35 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snapdragon View Post

 

I did have dh talk to her and explain my view on the pop thing, but that is still not figured ouot. but it all feels a little better and she just babysat ds for a little while so things are feeling okay right now.

Thanks for letting me process this here, it has helped. I am still sure I don't want ds to call sfiL pop- but we will figure something out.



ROFL! If your baby is at her house without you trust and believe she is figuring it out her way.

 

post #36 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snapdragon View Post He only recently married MIL. If he was just her boyfriend, would people still suggest that I let him be ds's grandpa?


They've been married as long as you've been married to her son.. so I guess you've only recently married her son so you're not REALLY a daughter in law yet.. ;)   *poke*

 

How often do you see him? He's been married to your mom in law your son's entire life...   How about a compromise... when you're at his house and MIL is saying look at poppa Joe.. you grit your teeth and smile and ignore it. But when you are home you call him Joe.  (and don't tell her of course) Let your MIL train him not you and let him decide on his own what he wants to do? 

post #37 of 59

I might have an interesting perspective here.

Some background info... my mom has been married 3 times, so I have my dad, my step dad (was around my whole childhood) and my moms current husband ( married 4 years, not a father figure to me at all) and my dad is not remarried but has had the same partner for over 15 years (my step mom).

DS calls my stepmom grandma ______(first name), my dad grandpa, my mom grandma and DH's parents nana and grandad.

 

To make it short, I'm not the biggest fan of moms husband, dont really trust him or think hes always good for her. I hope I am wrong but I'm not sure he'll be around forever. And on a weird note, hes only a couple years older than my dh,( I've got a older guy, shes got a young one) I know its not a problem, just kinda weird :)

 

Anyways, my mom and her dh started calling him pappa to my ds. Neither DH or myself liked it one bit, he's not a father figure to me, nor will he ever be...We had many conversations about it and both were on the same page about not liking it but I didnt want to hurt my mom (and it really really would) so we didnt say anything and gritted our teeth. We always called him by his name and let them say what they wanted...well DS is 17 months old now and he is sooo obsessed with his pappa, he asks for him 10x a day. They have a great relationship and love each other like crazy.

So I guess where I'm at is DS is lucky to have another person who loves him and its great for them to be close (even if he and I are not).

 

My moms dh also has a daughter who I dislike very much, she is never going to be a "sister" to me. She has a son DS's age....She will not be his "aunt", and her son will not be his "cousin". I put my foot down there!

 

So I dont know if this helps you, my mom and I have a great relationship which is a different situation to you. I also feel like I know her husband, I dont like many things about him but I do think he is great with DS

post #38 of 59

OP  I fully support you on this one. I feel the name isn't as big an issue as the level of disrespect that you are be shown on this one. It is totally inappropriate for one adult to yell and scream at another in an effort to force you to submit to their request. For that reason alone my response to the request would be a flat out no.

Another more important issue I am picking up which you have mentioned in a number of your posts is that your gut instinct is telling you that you don't trust this man. I am a firm believer in trusting one's gut instinct even if that alone is all you have to go on. In particular since your gut instinct is communicating with you on issues to do with your child I would be very inclined to listen to that. Have you read Gavin de Becker's book "protecting the gift". It's a great read and really advises us to tune in to our instincts as they usually exist for a reason, however big or small.

 

 

post #39 of 59

I agree with some of what you say...mostly because no one gets to tell me what I should and shouldn't do concerning my family.

1)You don't have to give anyone a title. Tittles can be given as terms of respect or endearment (my grandfather hated his step-mom so she never got to be great grandma, but did get the Aunt X title) or a true definition (in your case the new husband is not technically a grandparent by the Webster dictionary. Definition of GRANDFATHER..a: the father of one's father or mother). Now that being said I do call my step-dad grandpa, but that is my choice. Just because one person deems it respectful to given certain people titles does not make it mandatory.

Edited to add this works both ways. My sis wanted to use Nana as the term for my mother, but mom flat out refused to be called Nana. You don't have to give someone a title nor does that person have to accept what you want to call them.

 

2) About "pop" I totally can understand. My in-laws are french and use the term "mamie" for grandmother, but they pronounce it exactly like Mommy. I said no way in heck were my kids going to call grandma, mommy. I wanted to try another name, but they can be pains so we just opted to go with a southern version of Mamm-y. Its still to close for my liking, but I decided this was not worth the fight.

 

On the other hand...

3)From the kids future perspective if he/she grows up with new husband then he will in most likelihood be as much of a grandparent as your or dh's fathers. My dh's grandmother has a long time boyfriend (like 40 years, so b/f DH was born) that DH grew up with. He very much loves this man and all his warm childhood memories are of him. But his parents didn't get on with the man so he has no title, they only use his first name. It took me a long time to realize that he'd always been a part of dh's life and made me very sad that this man, who is in reality the closest grandfather DH has, didn't get to be treated like a grandparent. I think it is important to remember that while you may feel closer to your parents there is a real chance that your kids won't see the difference unless this is reiterated to them by their parents which would be a shame.

 

 

The real issue seems to be that your DH doesn't share your feelings which is going to make you look like the bad guy here. At the end of the day though if it makes you uncomfortable to call someone a special name then you shouldn't have to do it. Unfortunately this means that you will have to deal with whatever crap they have in return. FWIW my SIL only calls my husband "Uncle" to her kids...It's always "Go sat hi to Uncle X and so and so". This pisses my husband off so he doesn't use uncle when we send them stuff. Birthday cards and such are signed from X and X, without titles. This seems really pathetic to me, but she doesn't want me to have the aunt title and that is her right and it's your right to do the same.

post #40 of 59

You may not know him well but your son will.  This guy IS your sons family (if not yours) and he has been a big part of your sons family since your son was born.  This is really not your choice.  You are making a big deal out of something that really isn't.  My kids call my moms husband "Grandpa W" and sometimes use his first name but it is THEIR choice because it is THEIR relationship.  Not mine. and they were  in elementary school when my mom married him (and she had two husbands before him, both grandpa).  They are not confused, no one is devalued.  There is enough love for everyone.   It sounds to me like you are trying to create space or maintain control.  I say just let it go.  Clearly your husband does not have a problem with "Pop".  and if anyone has a right to have a problem with it is him.

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