Improving accommodation of inlaws for the sake of a grandchild - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#91 of 103 Old 08-16-2010, 12:04 AM
 
zeldamomma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,190
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
But MIL and FIL are well off, for the most part (retired with two pensions, lots in savings, a paid off home, their health, and very good health insurance).
<snip>
By contrast, FIL and MIL are very generous with BIL2 and his family/children and they pay for pretty much everything when they fly out to visit them.
How can you know these things? Why do you know them? You aren't there when they visit BIL2, right? If you're basing this on what your ILs have told you, based on what you've shared about them, it wouldn't surprise me if they were stretching the truth a bit.

With all due respect, you seem to have some boundary issues here-- you are way way WAY too involved in supervising and judging your ILs behavior, and are trying to control things that are outside your control. It's not your job to monitor your ILs and make sure they treat their grandkids fairly, it's none of your business how they spend their time and money, and they are not required to give you money or time because you need/want it.
zeldamomma is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#92 of 103 Old 08-16-2010, 07:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
That Is Nice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 6,798
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Worm View Post
That Is Nice, what it all comes down to for me is that these people are selfish. They care more about material things and alcohol than spending time with their grandchild. I think your dh really needs to sit down with them and talk about this. I just hope they get it before their grandson grows up without knowing them.
Me, too.

Thanks.

To others - to answer questions - again:

I don't feel entitled. I don't want them to treat me the same or better than or worse than they treat my SIL, or BIL, or DH. I don't need anything from them. I feel they need to treat my son as though he is meaningful and deserving of their attention, the same as they look at their other grandchildren. He is just as worthy and deserving when it comes to buying shoes, choosing and paying for generally equal gifts, and including him in their plans. I'm looking for them to have a range of fairness. Not tit for tat. Not exact. But within the same range. It should not continue down this path of extremes.

I'm not keeping score. I want things to be generally more even. No so skewed. I mean 4 weeks versus 1 to 2 days is pretty skewed, year after year.

And I do know what is going on - not exaggerated - because MIL and FIL tell me, and because I see how much they visit "...our travel plans are these dates..." and what they do for Christmases, birthdays, and such. It's quite pronounced. Very little on this end (and almost always just one grandparent for a few hours) and quite a lot on the other end (and always two grandparents together for a long period of time).

The longest either MIL or FIL has spent with us is two days and not even two full days, and that was immediately following the birth of DS and my c-section. MIL said she was going to stay a week, but had to rush home suddenly, likely because of FIL, but I can't be sure. That's the longest they've ever stayed here. Ever. And part of the reason she could not stay longer was that they had a week long visit booked with airline tickets to see their other grandchild within two weeks of DS's due date. I mean, MIL said she would help after the birth (she said this to us) and we made plans based on that, but she very well could have been on a plane when DS was being born to go visit the other grandchild. She booked a plane ticket within two weeks of DS's due date. He did come early, and she did come for two days, but it was much less than she promised and she was not able to come back after FIL started drinking because they had a week long visit booked to see the other grandchildren.

They spent more time visiting their other grandchild (a week, together) even the very month that DS was born (MIL visited for two days). And that pattern has never changed.
That Is Nice is offline  
#93 of 103 Old 08-16-2010, 08:01 AM
 
D_McG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,998
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I thought you were going to let this go? You are not in a healthy place right now. I really hope you can get some help.

DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

D_McG is offline  
#94 of 103 Old 08-16-2010, 08:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
That Is Nice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 6,798
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by D_McG View Post
I thought you were going to let this go? You are not in a healthy place right now. I really hope you can get some help.
Letting it go with them, for now.

That doesn't mean not asnswering false assumptions on a thread where I was seeking some input from others.

I am in a healthy place. I don't know if one can assume or read things from a simple thread. Life is fuller than that.

...letting it go with them, my inlaws...for a few months until the end of the year. The goal is still to get them involved to a higher extent than they are now...to get them to stop being so extreme in their differences.
That Is Nice is offline  
#95 of 103 Old 08-16-2010, 08:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
That Is Nice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 6,798
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by D_McG View Post
I thought you were going to let this go? You are not in a healthy place right now. I really hope you can get some help.
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
Letting it go with them, for now.

That doesn't mean not asnswering false assumptions on a thread where I was seeking some input from others.

I am in a healthy place. I don't know if one can assume or read things from a simple thread. Life is fuller than that.

...letting it go with them, my inlaws...for a few months until the end of the year. The goal is still to get them involved to a higher extent than they are now...to get them to stop being so extreme in their differences.
Further, I think some people are analytical in their debate about things in life. Others are more finite. I like to mull things over, get input, make pro / con lists, analyze and think things over before I do any action.

Different people have different approaches.

I treat this forum as one of many venues...I would talk things over with my friends in real life this same way, and probably over months and months, drawing examples from how their inlaws act, how they act with their inlaws, and gaining insight. Same with therapy. Little chunks at a time in windows of time.

Maybe that is why therapy is often referred to as analysis.

It does not mean I'm not letting it go with them, my inlaws.

That Is Nice is offline  
#96 of 103 Old 08-16-2010, 10:26 AM
 
fullofgrace's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: New England
Posts: 15,416
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think the time for analyzing is over and the time to put changes into practice is here. There is no more analyzing to be done. You figured this out already up thread. I said I was going to remind you, so here goes ---

Quote:
Originally Posted by fullofgrace View Post
YES!!! And you know what? I bet it has already been enough for your DS. Kids always dwell on the happy stuff and will always seek that out. EVERYONE's life is about attitude and what we choose to focus on. You've been putting yours into the wrong place, and you've been emotionally suffering for it. I'm so proud of you for realizing it ("Things are much easier") and giving yourself a NEW mantra ("I should count my blessings")!!

Now for the tough love part. You HAVE to put that into practice. Give yourself permission to do what we've been telling you: Stop focusing your time and energy on trying to change other people. Put it where it rightfully belongs -- in yourself, your DS and the people you can have healthy relationships with day-to-day. Do that every day, and every day you will fill up with a bit more joy. Do that every day, and every day your newly focused joy will trickle down to your DS. (ETA: Check my siggy if you want to know how I know this. )

Once a day, stop and tell yourself: "I am blessed. I have good friends. I have my DS. My DS has good teachers. My DS has good friends. I am allowed to focus on those things. And I should focus on those things so I can strengthen them and make my life a little better every day." And if it is a bad day, say it again. And again.

It is just one simple thing to do every day. You can do it!!! And we'll be here to remind you to tell yourself what you've realized here every time you think you can't. I know I will. I'll even C&P that part I just said into a reply if I have to.
You are still sticking to looking and thinking about this negativity over and over again. This is really unhealthy and it's solving nothing. Analyze why you keep doing that. The next time you get the urge to focus on this again, or analyze this again, stop. There's really nothing good about 'mulling this over' - mull over making a list of the good stuff and read those over and over again.

Quote:
The goal is still to get them involved to a higher extent than they are now...to get them to stop being so extreme in their differences.
This isn't letting it go. You haven't let it go. You are still focusing on a goal you will never have any control over - to get someone other than youself to do something. This still isn't healthy.

More tough love -- We all want things to be fair/even in life. Of course we do. And you're right. The way your inlaws treat your family isn't fair/equal to how they treat other family members. And that sucks. My ILs are different from my family to BIL's family too. Unfortunately, at the end of any evaluation of either of our IL's behavior and its motivations, the very simple, old addage is true: Life isn't fair.

You need a new goal. You'll be happier for it.

Wife of 1. Mom of 3. Conquering disability challenges, one achievement at a time.
 

fullofgrace is offline  
#97 of 103 Old 08-16-2010, 10:37 AM
 
fullofgrace's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: New England
Posts: 15,416
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
OP ~ You mentioned therapy a few times now. Do you have a local resource for therapy? Finding a professional to talk out and analyze the question of "I keep perseverating on other people and the things I cannot change. Why do I keep doing that? How do I move forward?" is a really important one. The only real way we on the internet can help you with your hyperfocus on your inlaws is to maybe help you make a list of who in your offline world can talk though this with you to help you accept that your inlaws are who they are.

Actually, that would be a great and very healthy pro/con list to make!!



ETA: The alcoholism piece is huge, too.
Quote:
Just FIL is the alcoholic. MIL just likes to kick back with mixed drinks or a beer now and then. She's not an alcoholic.
Alcoholism isn't just about how much or how often someone drinks. It's about someone needing to drink. MIL is unable and unwilling to give up her alcohol to help FIL give up his alcohol. She may not be falling down drunk, but I think she's an alcoholic in her own right.

I think finding and attending a support group for families of alcoholics could be a huge first step! They have been there done that and are likely the best suited to ferret out the validation you seek. You could really delve into family dynamics and analyze the reasons for behavior every week, face-to-face, for as many months as you need.

Wife of 1. Mom of 3. Conquering disability challenges, one achievement at a time.
 

fullofgrace is offline  
#98 of 103 Old 08-16-2010, 10:54 AM
 
cycle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,854
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've seen your other post(s) about your in-laws issues and something that really stands out to me and seems very strange, is that nothing about your FIL's drinking was mentioned for pages and pages of posts on the other threads. So many people were disagreeing with you and giving you advice you didn't want to hear and then all the sudden you threw in the "my FIL likes to drink", and now all of the sudden "my FIL is an alcoholic". Is seems very strange to me as if it is just another thing you are using as an excuse for their behavior because you cannot accept that it just may be a preference. They may prefer the company of you BIL and SIL and be more comfortable in their home, absent of alcohol or all of the "stuff". You said that even when you had a queen sized be they still didn't stay and they didn't stay or visit more when you were a sahm. I think you just cannot let go of it and you have to have a reason; alcohol, smoking, pool, because it could never be that they are just prefer being with your BIL and SIL.
cycle is offline  
#99 of 103 Old 08-16-2010, 12:24 PM
 
Chamsia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 401
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It's hard, but one lesson I am constantly trying to embrace in life is to
meet people where they are.

Your in-laws prefer their other kids/grandkids. That is painful, but it doesn't sound like you have any way to change it.

My husband's brother lives less than an hour for us and just doesn't care about our kids. When he calls he doesn't ask about them. We have an 11 week old baby he hasn't bothered to meet even though he is unemployed now and has tons of time. He drives hours to go to expensive sporting events, but makes no effort to meet our new baby (or inquire about the older child) despite invite after invite. He will meet the baby when we all finally get together at the grandparents house (10 minutes from him), whether it's weeks or months or years from now.

We can't change people, or how they feel. Meet them where they are. Accept the time and attention they do give your family, and try not to be bitter.

Would you be unsatisfied with these relationships if DH was their only child, and your kids their only grandchildren?

It's easy advice for me to write, and hard for me or you or anyone to follow. But we need to accept people how they are, and go from there.

They do visit, they do care for your family. It is very sad that they seem to prefer others, but there really is nothing you can do about it.

I'm sorry. Best wishes to you!
Chamsia is offline  
#100 of 103 Old 08-16-2010, 07:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
That Is Nice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 6,798
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamsia View Post
Would you be unsatisfied with these relationships if DH was their only child, and your kids their only grandchildren?


They do visit, they do care for your family. It is very sad that they seem to prefer others, but there really is nothing you can do about it.

I'm sorry. Best wishes to you!
Thanks. To answer your questions.

Yes, I would be unsatisfied with these relationships even if DH were their only child.

No, they don't visit. FIL and MIL almost never come together, and MIL can't stay for long if FIL isn't with her because he won't stay sober, most of the time, unless she is with him. I think they probably do care about DS and DH. Sometimes I wonder, though.
That Is Nice is offline  
#101 of 103 Old 08-16-2010, 08:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
That Is Nice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 6,798
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by cycle View Post
I've seen your other post(s) about your in-laws issues and something that really stands out to me and seems very strange, is that nothing about your FIL's drinking was mentioned for pages and pages of posts on the other threads. So many people were disagreeing with you and giving you advice you didn't want to hear and then all the sudden you threw in the "my FIL likes to drink", and now all of the sudden "my FIL is an alcoholic". Is seems very strange to me as if it is just another thing you are using as an excuse for their behavior because you cannot accept that it just may be a preference. They may prefer the company of you BIL and SIL and be more comfortable in their home, absent of alcohol or all of the "stuff". You said that even when you had a queen sized be they still didn't stay and they didn't stay or visit more when you were a sahm. I think you just cannot let go of it and you have to have a reason; alcohol, smoking, pool, because it could never be that they are just prefer being with your BIL and SIL.
FIL and MIL may very well prefer BIL and SIL. I'm sure they do. Actions speak loudly, no? But it's more complex than what the surface might suggest. Here's why:

I guess my best explanation - or attempt to explain that - is that sometimes FIL and MIL have put this all in the context of the alcoholism (if however briefly) and sometimes DH has too.

And most of the time, I hear excuses like the ones I stated earlier: the furnishings, the fact that I work and SIL is a stay at home mom (that's a quote from MIL) which floored me which was sort of the genesis of the discussion. It's not that I am perceiving these things. These are excuses actually said by MIL and FIL, mostly MIL. Things actually said to us.

Anyway, to answer your question, I didn't want to divulge ALL personal information, I guess. But obviously the alcoholism is a factor.

See, I think that if FIL had his choice, he wouldn't visit the other grandchildren or his other son as much as he does. But he isn't allowed to stay home by himself for a week, apparently. MIL once flew out for a visit by herself, and DH was called in an emergency because FIL fell off the wagon during his time alone and was in need of major help to the point of perhaps needing to go to the emergency room. So, ironic as it was, SIL needed help so MIL flew out to help, and even though MIL had never helped us, my DH ended up using his very, very limited vacation time to then go down and babysit FIL until MIL was able to fly back home....leaving me and my baby by ourselves. We've had situations like that before. In that instance, SIL needed help and I understood. But it does seem like we are always side-stepped or stepped on when it comes to MIL and FIL.

So, ever since then, FIL does not stay home for longer than a day or so by himself.

And since FIL doesn't like to travel, he almost never comes to our house, which means that MIL usually stays about 4 hours. She would stay longer if it weren't for FIL.

So basically, she makes FIL fly out with her because otherwise she can't go. But she doesn't make him come with her to see us because she can come for a few hours. That's the biggest reason it's so skewed.

Now, if MIL really wanted to, she could make FIL come, but she doesn't want to. If MIL really wanted to, she could stay longer and bring FIL with her, but, again, she doesn't.

There are other issues. FIL has always been uncomfortable in my house, even when we had a queen size bed. I am the daughter of an alcoholic and I've never understood why they let him drink and pretend he can handle it. I have never said anything, but I do not have alcohol in my home when he comes nor do I serve him alcohol. DH does not like when his father gets drunk, and I don't blame him.

Also, FIL is a big smoker and I have a child with asthma and allergies so I do not allow smoking in my home, not that I did before DS arrived anyway. No smoking in my home. So FIL is made uncomfortable by that too.

I don't know - there are other things too. I am not sure how often FIL drinks at home. I know he drinks excessively and hides it, and has had to go to detox more than once, but I am not sure if he drinks constantly, all day long to get through the day and then when he comes to our house, he goes through withdrawal? I'm just not sure.

I've never seen him sober and relaxed for that long of a period in quite a few years. He had a period of complete sobriety for a couple of years, then he started drinking alcohol for meals and stuff with MIL, which shocked me at the time, and now he's had full blown episodes again.

ALso, FIL feels remorse about being an alcoholic when his children were young. DH never talks about it nor makes his dad feel bad about it. BIL has issues. So FIL (and perhaps MIL) try to make up for it, and compensate/over-compensate a bit.

MIL probably does prefer SIL. I think both MIL and FIL prefer their other son. He's quite successful and they are very proud of him. FIL has had a few run-ins with relatives about that, when he's been drinking, about how his son (BIL) has made so much of himself and done so well. I think BIL makes FIL (and MIL) feel like there were good parents. DH, well, not so much. MIL used to apologize to me for things she did when raising DH that she felt might have contributed to issues in our marriage. She's not done that recently, but she has in the past. FIL took me aside a few times, years ago, and said he did not like how the kids were raised and disagreed with MIL at the time they were making parenting decisions. He said he feared DH would be lazy, which he sort of is, and FIL apologized for that.

So, given conversations MIL and FIL had with me early on in my marriage, it is quite a drastic change to the sorts of things I hear now about why they can't visit.

It's complicated. Very, very complicated. What I think is that FIL and MIL are much more comfortable with BIL and SIL for a multitude of reasons, and some of those include the nice pool, warmer climate, and furnishings.

That doesn't mean something can not change. Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe things will be different if FIL passes away? Or if he sobers up again? Or he gets over his aversion to travel. Or MIL makes him to travel to see us as she makes him travel to fly across the country for the other grandkids. Or if they move to be closer to BIL/SIL and then have to fly to see us, if they'd even do that. Things could change as life develops.

As I said earlier and in other posts, I try very hard to be compassionate toward FIL and acknowledge his disease, but it's difficult when we are side-stepped or stepped on.

FIL and MIL can't be bothered to visit or be fair or help, but it has always been DH who FIL calls when he falls off the wagon to talk him back on. It's like they reserve the serious for us, and the fun for BIL/SIL.
That Is Nice is offline  
#102 of 103 Old 08-17-2010, 05:52 AM
 
DariusMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: I've been in the lowlands too long
Posts: 2,275
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
That doesn't mean something can not change. Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe things will be different if FIL passes away? Or if he sobers up again? Or he gets over his aversion to travel. Or MIL makes him to travel to see us as she makes him travel to fly across the country for the other grandkids. Or if they move to be closer to BIL/SIL and then have to fly to see us, if they'd even do that. Things could change as life develops.
Sure. Things could change. And for your sake (and that of your DC's), I hope they do. But don't hold your breath. Family dynamics are very very tricky things and very hard to change. Plus, as PPs have said over and over and over again -- It's not in your power to change this. It.just.isn't.

From following your postings over years here on MDC, I get that you're a very driven, intelligent person whose had to do everything herself. You've basically taken your fate into your own hands, worked your way out of what sounds like pretty extreme poverty, made something of yourself, and still help your family. You saved a lot of money to make your dream/ideal of staying home the first few years with your DC a possibility. You made working PT a possibility. And kudos to you for all these major accomplishments!

But, the "problem" with someone like you, is that because you've managed to control so much of your life and make it what you want it to be, pretty much against the odds, is that you have the idea (I think, even if you'll write a very very long reply telling me why it's not true! ) that you can control everything and everyone and make them do the "right" things in the "right" way. You know intellectually that you can't, and you have a host of MDCers also telling you that. But, in your heart of hearts, you believe that if you just figure out *why* your DH acts like a UAV, you'll change him. And if you figure out *why* your ILs don't come visit, they'll start being fairer about spending time with your DC. And then you will have solved the problems and made life the way you want it to be.

Except, this won't happen. It doesn't really matter if your DH has AD(H)D, Aspergers, or is just lazy, unmotivated, and unkind. Doesn't really matter if FIL is an alcoholic, or if they just like BIL and SIL and their kids better. Because, really, there's nothing you can do to change them or their behavior except set the boundaries that you already have. That's it. I know that's hard to internalize because you're the person you are. You don't give up. You don't lie down and let life run all over you. You strive to get the life you want. However, there's well and truly *nothing* you can do to make these people do what you want or be who you want them to be.

once you accept this basic truth, you can expend your energy on getting out of your miserable marriage. Hang in there!
DariusMom is offline  
#103 of 103 Old 08-17-2010, 09:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
That Is Nice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 6,798
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by DariusMom View Post
From following your postings over years here on MDC, I get that you're a very driven, intelligent person whose had to do everything herself. You've basically taken your fate into your own hands, worked your way out of what sounds like pretty extreme poverty, made something of yourself, and still help your family. You saved a lot of money to make your dream/ideal of staying home the first few years with your DC a possibility. You made working PT a possibility. And kudos to you for all these major accomplishments!

But, the "problem" with someone like you, is that because you've managed to control so much of your life and make it what you want it to be, pretty much against the odds, is that you have the idea (I think, even if you'll write a very very long reply telling me why it's not true! ) that you can control everything and everyone and make them do the "right" things in the "right" way. You know intellectually that you can't, and you have a host of MDCers also telling you that. But, in your heart of hearts, you believe that if you just figure out *why* your DH acts like a UAV, you'll change him. And if you figure out *why* your ILs don't come visit, they'll start being fairer about spending time with your DC. And then you will have solved the problems and made life the way you want it to be.
Thank you. And you are right.

If I see a problem, I tackle it head on. Career. Money. Family. Health. Society. Whatever. I know this. I'm certain of it. I chose a career way, way back in my youth that is issue based - societal issue based - because I wanted to solve things and improve things. When I think of other jobs, working for a business, not solving major societal issues, I think that's nice, and it's probably lucrative, but what is the larger point? So, yes, I think you are very right.

I don't like how my inlaws act. And it seems like it's wrong. If my DS's teachers at school were like them, and treated other kids better and gave me bogus excuses, I'd talk to them about it, try to work it out, and if it didn't change, I'd move him to another class or another daycare. It's an analogy, but not directly.

You are right. I can't change my inlaws. But they are wrong, and they are unfair, and they should act better. But there are lots of things people should do. It doesn't mean they will.

Intellectually I get it. I do.

I'm not obsessed or anything. I just like gathering others' ideas and opinions and MDC is very good for that. It's the anlyst in me. Sharing, hearing, thinking, talking.

Thanks so much!
That Is Nice is offline  
Reply

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off