So help me out with my biggest in-law issues

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PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: So help me out with my biggest in-law issues
Posted: Jan 28, 2010 12:52 AM Go to message in response to: BirdLover

Close to, living their own lives - not so different, controlling - very different.

My IL's live 15-20 minutes from us. They NEVER show up to our houe unexpected (with the exception of the day we were robbed, his Dad just came over - but that's a VERY different situation).

My BIL is in the area with his GF - We all get together for birthdays and holidays. We combine things when we can and some holidays are spent out of town (with my or the GF's family) but we still get together for those holidays.

Sometimes at our house, sometimes at BIL/GFs and sometimes at ILs.

Every so often, I (we but he let's it roll off his back) get flack about time spent with my family or being out of town (assuming it's with MY family) and so does my BIL and GF. So at least I don't feel singled out. And sometimes, like when you're sitting down to dinner the 2 weeks before Thanksgiving and your MIL asks what you 2 are doing for Turkey Day - You look at your DH asking Why exactly did you not tell them? - and you have to be the one to tell your IL's that you both are spending the Holiday with your family. THEN you are WAY grateful when your BILs GF speaks up and says that they are spending the holiday with her family.

Seriously, my parents are close to me - but are all into us living our own lives. I think my IL's tred the line a little more closely at times, but overall are content to let us do as we do.

I think that I am very fortunate.

 

 

 

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NJ4Life Posts : 3,358 Registered: 8/10/07
Re: So help me out with my biggest in-law issues
Posted: Jan 28, 2010 9:48 AM Go to message in response to: BirdLover

There's such a fine line when dealing with my MIL. I wouldn't say she "controls" us but she knows the buttons to push and guilt us into things. And then sometimes we end up doing it and we HATE every moment. DH and I always say it would be so much nicer to spend time with them when we WANT to and not because we are forced to. I dont know how many Christmases we have sat there in the living room staring at the walls b/c we didnt wanna be there and everything felt forced.

I dont know what it is about the birthday things. Its like if we dont see her on her bday (or as close to it as possible) the world will end. I planned my BFF's bachelorette ON MIL's bday last year (kinda on purpose) and DH got a little annoyed. And I'm like "ok this is the ONLY weekend we can do this for my bff, I think MIL will live with just you coming to see her". But he was only annoyed b/c he was pre-empting an attack from her. (and this was after seeing them almost every weekend in April and May for various things). My bday rolls around and do they call? Heck no!

New Jersey: We have dumps, bays and cement boots and we know how to use 'em

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FrancieElaine Posts : 654 Registered: 6/26/09
Re: So help me out with my biggest in-law issues
Posted: Jan 28, 2010 10:34 AM Go to message in response to: BirdLover

Well.. I would love it if my son would move to NC after graduate school and join my practice. But if he decides to move to California then that's okay. I would be sad, but I want him to live his life. My Dad is the same way. Four of his five children live out of state. He loves it when we go to visit, but he never puts demands on us. He is just happy when he sees us. I guess that is why I take that approach with my son. My son calls me almost everyday. He has a new job as a drug/rehab. counselor and he likes to call and tell me about his experiences at work. I doubt a Mother and Son could be closer. But I want him to have his own life and make his own way in the world. That is how I raised him. I certainly didn't want him dependent on me or his Dad.

I know that there are many parents who just can't seem to let go, or who try to be involved in their child's life to the point where it is unhealthy. I guess it may be because the parent still gets their own needs met by living through their child's life. My Dad is always there to give me advice when I ask him, but he would never butt in or give me advice when I didn't ask for it. And he would never tell me what to do.

I guess I feel sorry for parents who can't let go of their kids. If my son and his fiance lived in my town, I would totally respect their privacy. I wouldn't get into their business. If they came to me, I would try to give them things to think about, but I wouldn't tell them what to do.

Not sure if that makes a lick of sense. I sure hope so!

Francie Elaine, The Bride Whisperer

www.bride-whisperer.com

http://twitter.com/BrideWhispering

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: So help me out with my biggest in-law issues
Posted: Jan 28, 2010 11:17 AM Go to message in response to: FrancieElaine

Ladies,

"I know that there are many parents who just can't seem to let go, or who try to be involved in their child's life to the point where it is unhealthy. "

When I gave birth to my two precious babies, I looked in their eyes and said "My job is to make myself obsolete."

In other words, I tried my best, as a mother, to give my children independence. That met discipline, instruction about how the world works, insistance on school, church and Scout activities, financial guidance, an ever-increasing set of household chores, supervision over various friendships, exposure to a widening group of trusted adults, and lots of love.

When they became young adults, they had the skill set to make it out there on their own. They were free. They had self-discipline and confidence. They did not need Mom and Dad to be "helicoptering" over every aspect of their lives.

We help them out, from time to time, as things come up. I believe that during one's 20s, a young person might need the occasional boost from the parents. Young people in their early to mid-20s haven't had the time to build emergency funds, and sometimes emergencies happen. The goal is to become completely independent.

After all, we plan to die before they do. They must be able to take care of themselves, 100%, before that happens.

The alternative is to be a "forever parent". Forever watching your child, giving them "guidance", approving of relationships, etc. Yech. I have my own life.

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NJ4Life Posts : 3,358 Registered: 8/10/07
Re: So help me out with my biggest in-law issues
Posted: Jan 28, 2010 11:30 AM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

Yea but Aunt, what if the ILs don't have their own lives? I'm not even joking. They rely on DH and SIL to entertain them and make plans with them. MIL is always whining to DH that her and FIL never do anything. And I always remind DH that it is NOT HIS job to entertain them. Yes, we do make efforts to invite them places with us when we want to...but we're not going to every time. Nor are we going to go visit them every single weekend...it's not feasible and WE have our own life too.

I look at my parents who find things to do on weekends together. And yes my parents love spending time with me and my sister and their granddaughter but they are constantly doing things outside of the house, and TO the house and whatever. It's like night & day.

New Jersey: We have dumps, bays and cement boots and we know how to use 'em

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Brooke051609 Posts : 723 Registered: 12/31/07
Re: So help me out with my biggest in-law issues
Posted: Jan 28, 2010 11:58 AM Go to message in response to: NJ4Life

Francie and AOTB, could you both please be my MIL?!?!? Or at least share your wisdom with my MIL?? She is definitely one that won't let go. And it's not like I don't want her in our lives, but she wants to know EVERYTHING that's going on! And if she finds out after the fact, she's upset. If we don't ask her and FIL for advice on something, and it doesn't go well for us, she'll be upset with us and then guilt us about it. Just like you NJ, we get guilted into things ALL the time! It's like we can't live our own life, we constantly feel like we should call all the time or invite them or go home if we haven't seem them very recently. Otherwise she gets in those moods and tells people when they ask about how we are "oh, I dont' know, they never call or visit" wo is me, pity party.... ugh! Sorry, I'm still a bit bitter! haha

So is there a solution to this? I'd really like for us all to get along and enjoy each other's company. And FIL is fine! But he won't stand up to her. And the minute you do, she pouts and you never hear or feel the end of it. Is it always going to be this way? Because I dread how it will be when we have kids! She'll complain that we never let her see the grandkids! Thing is, we go home a lot, call a lot, there is just no appeasing her...

Daisypath

                                    "Come What May...."

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NJ4Life Posts : 3,358 Registered: 8/10/07
Re: So help me out with my biggest in-law issues
Posted: Jan 28, 2010 12:15 PM Go to message in response to: Brooke051609

Brooke, I think we share the same MIL. Part of it has to do w/ the fact that we live closer to my parents. So MIL is under the impression that we see them ALL the time. and really nothing can be farther from the truth. We probably see my family twice a month together. Sometimes I will stop at my parent's after work since I Work nearby but not very often and its for like 5 mins to pick something up or whatever. But its MY parents and no one is stopping DH from taking the 90 mins trip up to his parents house! LOL. But she will make comments about it, and make DH feel bad if he helps my dad with something.

And there are so many times DH will be on the phone with her and she will be saying" oh I'm just going to move away...we dont have any family here". Well ok, now we're chopped liver. It's so stupid. But I've also noticed DH has those guilt trip tendencies...so I have to remind him how his mom makes him feel when he (unintentionally) does it to me!

New Jersey: We have dumps, bays and cement boots and we know how to use 'em

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Brooke051609 Posts : 723 Registered: 12/31/07
Re: So help me out with my biggest in-law issues
Posted: Jan 28, 2010 12:45 PM Go to message in response to: NJ4Life

NJ- we TOTALLY have the same MIL!! Why haven't I seen you at the family get-togethers?! haha MIL does the SAME thing with my family! She actually told me she thinks I make DH spend more time at my family's house, that we have more fun with them, why can't we watch TV with MIL and FIL etc etc etc, making this whole marriage into a competition now! WTF?!?! (haha I've noticed I've said this twice in this thread! haha) We split everything evenly. DH and I grew up in the same hometown and both family's live there. A blessing and a curse! We can see everyone when we go home, yay! But that also means lots of rushing around on our part and can't spend a whole weekend with just one family. But she just can't put herself in our shoes! She's only mad that we leave her house to go see my family, for the SAME amount of time we spent with her! She can't just say "It was so great to see you both! Thank you for coming!" ... she has to whine and make comments and leave us with some guilt remark and send us on our way. This cannot go on like this forever! And we can't say that we just won't come home anymore if she continues to act like this, because then we can't see my parents, just not fair. So who knows how this will get better, I'm stuck!

By the way, not that I'm glad that any of the rest of you face these issues too, but it's nice to know I'm not the only one who feels this way. I keep telling myself I CANNOT be like this if I have a son someday!

Daisypath

                                    "Come What May...."

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NJ4Life Posts : 3,358 Registered: 8/10/07
Re: So help me out with my biggest in-law issues
Posted: Jan 28, 2010 3:08 PM Go to message in response to: Brooke051609

Right, and our parents live about 90 mins from each other, so seeing both on one day (like a holiday) is impossible. We end up spending all day in the car and thats not OK with us. So we have to divide our time up...and EVERY other year MIL casually "forgets" that it's not her year. The year that is her's for Christmas are the HAPPIEST! The years when it's not are the most miserable. And it's like "Ummm, where were u last year? You know this was gunna be the case this year!"

Even SIL gets in on the act. She said something over Thanksgving like "well at least I come home for the WHOLE weekend on Thanksgiving" So me having some wine in me said (in front if her bf, no less) "At least WE are MARRIED" LOL. Like, are u kidding me?

But Brooke, I dont know when it will ever end, or IF it will. I do dread having children, I won't lie. I dont know what to expect. However, my mom is VERY preoccupied with my sister and her baby (and 2nd one on the way) so I do think it will be nice to have a mother figure for me who is willing to help out and make me a priority, where my own mom kinda lacks. I am sure i will EAT those words though! So don't quote me on that :)

New Jersey: We have dumps, bays and cement boots and we know how to use 'em

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BirdLover Posts : 2,834 Registered: 3/30/06
Re: So help me out with my biggest in-law issues
Posted: Jan 29, 2010 1:13 PM Go to message in response to: NJ4Life

I enjoy reading everyone elses stories - not because I like that other people have troubles, but because it helps us to give each other advice and different ideas to try - so no one apologize for 'taking over' my thread . It would be boring if it was all about me.

Francie - I would be really sad if my daughter grew up and moved far away. I might even be ticked off, depending on the reason . But I would get over it, and just try to visit and make it easier for her to visit me. That's what you do - try to make the best of things!\

Aunt - your comment about people needing to be able to be independent because their parents will die eventually - that might be a good way for some of us to word things to overbearing parents. So thanks for that. However, I'm not so sure I agree with the " becoming obsolete" thing - I'm sure your boys still feel that they need their Mom at times :) (I get what you mean though)

Others - so reading everything, I realize something. If it weren't for my personality, and my ability to talk to my parents about issues before they become issues, I could totally see them becoming the In-laws from hell. Lol. They are wonderful people, but they do have strong opinions. But it never became a problem with them, because I nipped any issues in the bud BEFORE they became problems . So I have to wonder - since it seems that women are better at " standing up to" their parents than men are (at least on these boards, hee hee) - how many of our ILs would be different if their sons had always been able to stand up to them? (This comment is directed more at husbands like mine, who NOW stand up to them, but in the past, never had that kind of relationship where they comfortable with that sort of thing)

Something to ponder...I hope I explained that right . I definitely maintain that you should always encourage your children to express their opinion and thoughts to you, even when it is different than yours.


A side question: is anyone really close to their parents and people think it's 'weird'? My husband works a lot of nights. If he is working, and I don't have other plans and don't just feel like a night to myself - I get together with my parents. I see them alot - sometimes four days a week. Part of it is that I hate being alone at night - it depresses me (I suffer from depression). Another part of it is I think, hey, if I am going to be sitting at home watching House, and they are going to be 7 minutes away watching House, we might as well watch House together and they can see their granddaughter. But I definitely know that some people - mostly THEIR friends, funny enough - thinks it's really bizarre.

Thoughts? Is that weird? And why would other people care?

Oh, one last thing (I know this is really long) Another poster mentioned something about her MIL being upset that she spends more time with her family than with her in-laws. I definitely think that this is something people should be concious about trying to balance out as much as they can, so it doesn't seem like you favour one family over the other - but sometimes, it's ridiculous. My inlaws are the same way, and they live in another province! I think it's ridiculous that they get annoyed that I see my parents - who live in the same city - more than them!
Lilypie 1st Birthday Ticker

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Brooke051609 Posts : 723 Registered: 12/31/07
Re: So help me out with my biggest in-law issues
Posted: Jan 29, 2010 1:40 PM Go to message in response to: BirdLover

Hi Bird! My DH has always been able to speak his mind, however I find that he does just scoot some stuff with his mom under the rug. Let her get over it, then move on. But then I've come to find that she doesn't REALLY get over this stuff, it builds, and then BAM! Somehow a small issues becomes WW3! He's gotten better lately at saying stuff to her, but then she turns it around and says that I'm making him say this stuff. So somehow I'm ruining her little boy and turning him against her... how in the world do I deal with that? I feel like I'm going to be walking on eggshells the rest of my life to keep the peace and get along. How stressful!

Birdie, I'm like you, I enjoy hanging out with my parents. Unfortunately they don't live close enough to just drive there for the evening, but I would do the same exact thing you're doing. If we live in the same town, I'm home by myself, we're both watching the same show, why not hang out with them? haha My BF actually lives caddy-corner to her parents. So, if I could, I would, I get lonely by myself all the time and while your girlfriends are always fun, sometimes it's just nice to hang out with dear ol mom and dad! :)

Daisypath

                                    "Come What May...."

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BirdLover Posts : 2,834 Registered: 3/30/06
Re: So help me out with my biggest in-law issues
Posted: Jan 30, 2010 2:00 AM Go to message in response to: Brooke051609

Brooke - thanks for making me feel more normal :)

I bet that our relationships with our ILs would be a lot less stressful if it were possible for us to speak our minds to them (like we would to our own parents) without it seeming 10 times worse. You know, clear the air, get everything out there, so that people can get over it. It's tough to balance everything!

Lilypie 1st Birthday Ticker

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Brooke051609 Posts : 723 Registered: 12/31/07
Re: So help me out with my biggest in-law issues
Posted: Jan 30, 2010 9:47 AM Go to message in response to: BirdLover

Birdie! I totally agree! I wish I could talk to them the way I can talk so freely with my parents. It just seems what I say to the IL's is taken more as "trying to take their or change their son" instead of just me having an opinion. Because I could say the same thing to my parents and they'd see what I'm saying for what it is, instead of a hidden devious meaning. Who knows, I just hate the tension and the thought that it will always be like this! She seemed so much better before we got married! haha

I wonder if it's the adjustment? I figured after 8 years of dating we'd all be adjusted, but marriage does bring in new feelings and some different boundries I guess. I just don't want to feel like I have to report to them everything we're thinking or doing. We are not little kids needing permission anymore. I think that's probably some of what she's having a hard time with, her son isn't looking to HER as much anymore for advice on EVERYTHING. Instead, we are figuring things out on our own, and so maybe it's just me caught in the crossfire since I'm "the other woman". But like AOTB and Francie said, we raise our children to be able to think for themselves and be able to make decisions without us. I don't mind at all talking to them about things, like adults and such. But I don't think we need to consult them on everything we do or make a decision on. She told me she wants to be involved in our lives and hear all the ups and downs. Well, that's fine.... to a point. So hopefully this will ease more after more time and won't be quite so tense!

Daisypath

                                    "Come What May...."

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MrsSy Posts : 504 Registered: 7/6/08
Re: So help me out with my biggest in-law issues
Posted: Jan 30, 2010 1:03 PM Go to message in response to: Brooke051609

Bird, I'm very close to my parents. Since we live in different contries, we talk every day 3 or 4 times. Some of my friends make fun of me. They think I have to report to them. And even advice me to stop calling them. I like talking to them. I like knowing what's going on with them, my sister and nephew.

Proud Member of the P.O.O.P.

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BirdLover Posts : 2,834 Registered: 3/30/06
Re: So help me out with my biggest in-law issues
Posted: Jan 30, 2010 1:58 PM Go to message in response to: MrsSy

Sy, there is a big difference between phoning parents because you want to, and phoning out of obligation . Ignore your friends :)


Lilypie 1st Birthday Ticker

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