Dealing With His Family
#31
(12-02-2010, 04:01 PM)Satori Wrote: Um. Okay.

It wasn't like that at all, actually. First of all, my in-laws' house is like two apartments, one on top of the other. The parents lived in the lower half, their daughter in the upper. She had lived in the upper "apartment" all her life without paying rent or having any responsibilities. Then her older brother moved in for a while with his wife and child, who were going along with what he thought best. I never thought when I moved there that I would be there that long, and practically speaking, I had little choice in the matter.

I tried to be as unobtrusive as possible, which was very difficult with a rambunctious two-year-old. I had to put up with a lot of behavior from her that I would have nipped in the bud in other circumstances, but didn't because it would be too disruptive for the others in the house. Yes, I had to use the living room. What was I supposed to do, stay all day in a tiny bedroom with my toddler? Remember, I had no way even to go somewhere else.

I was not a dinner guest. I was a daughter-in-law who was moved in by her husband and trying to function as a mother and a person. I asked if I could move the table; when told no, I didn't argue or move it anyway. Was I bad for asking to move it? It isn't like I asked for permission to paint the walls or install a bidet.

Apologize for what? Am I supposed to just pull something out of my ass? I know very well that this situation couldn't have been fun for my in-laws. I offered various kinds of help repeatedly and wrote them a thank you note when I left and try to treat them fairly and kindly. What more can I do? If I did something wrong that no one pointed out to me, am I necessarily to blame for not apologizing for it?

I cleaned up after myself. I tried to respect everyone's privacy. I tried to keep my daughter in line.

This is not about my temporary living situation, by the way, which is mercifully over. This is about how my in-laws behave now.

And again I think that this is left-over animosity from when you did live with them.  You did say that your sister-in-law was tattling on you, so at least from her perspective you were doing something wrong even if you were truly not.  If you really want improvement, I strongly suggest making yourself lower than your mother- and sister-in-law by sincerely apologizing to them again with no snarkyness and no mention of what you think they did to you while you lived with them or anytime after.  Don't ever bring up what faults you think they might have, even to your husband or to others since it may come back to them and only hurt you more; instead own up to your own mistakes and wrongdoings and let them admit to you their own wrongdoings (if they ever will).  With these and preferably more acts of open submission to them, you allow them to put them over yourself by your own admissions rather than allow them to bring you low by any calumny or iniquity on their part or by giving them proof against you by allowing yourself to act out of anger or frustration and they will hopefully see that you are sincere and not really a bad person.  It's a difficult thing to do especially if you are a proud person.  Humble yourself before them always and you'll probably have a better relationship with them, but don't allow yourself become a doormat.

I did not say that you were a dinner guest, I likened a family moving in with another family to a very extended dinner invitation.  People find themselves having to act like they have guests or are guests for dinner for days, weeks, or months, and it can get very tiresome and frustrating.

Why couldn't you go anywhere on your own?  Couldn't you have taken your child outside for a walk at least?
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#32
(12-02-2010, 04:19 PM)icecream Wrote: i sensed another conflagration

Would that make you happy?

You know, it perhaps needs to be said that most of the people who post here are real people with real problems looking for answers and that it is possible to cause them pain. It's sad that we live in a world in which we go to Internet strangers for help, but there it is. That's what we've become.

This is not directed at you, icecream.
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#33
(12-02-2010, 04:26 PM)Satori Wrote:
(12-02-2010, 04:19 PM)icecream Wrote: i sensed another conflagration

Would that make you happy?

You know, it perhaps needs to be said that most of the people who post here are real people with real problems looking for answers and that it is possible to cause them pain. It's sad that we live in a world in which we go to Internet strangers for help, but there it is. That's what we've become.

This is not directed at you, icecream.

It's hard to expect Internet strangers to only tell you everything you want to hear.  I am offering you a suggestion on how you may be able to improve your relationship.  If I had taken my own advice then maybe I would be on better speaking terms with the mother of the family who moved in with my family for 8-9 months, but now any apology or act of humility on my part would be pointless because I was too proud and the issue is moot now that they've been gone a couple years.
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#34
(12-02-2010, 04:26 PM)Satori Wrote:
(12-02-2010, 04:19 PM)icecream Wrote: i sensed another conflagration

Would that make you happy?

You know, it perhaps needs to be said that most of the people who post here are real people with real problems looking for answers and that it is possible to cause them pain. It's sad that we live in a world in which we go to Internet strangers for help, but there it is. That's what we've become.

This is not directed at you, icecream.

no it wouildnt make me happy to see you two in pain.

i guess this not approrpate thread for jokes.
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#35
(12-02-2010, 04:33 PM)dark lancer Wrote:
(12-02-2010, 04:26 PM)Satori Wrote:
(12-02-2010, 04:19 PM)icecream Wrote: i sensed another conflagration

Would that make you happy?

You know, it perhaps needs to be said that most of the people who post here are real people with real problems looking for answers and that it is possible to cause them pain. It's sad that we live in a world in which we go to Internet strangers for help, but there it is. That's what we've become.

This is not directed at you, icecream.

It's hard to expect Internet strangers to only tell you everything you want to hear.  I am offering you a suggestion on how you may be able to improve your relationship.  If I had taken my own advice then maybe I would be on better speaking terms with the mother of the family who moved in with my family for 8-9 months, but now any apology or act of humility on my part would be pointless because I was too proud and the issue is moot now that they've been gone a couple years.

I understand, and I think what you said is for the most part a good perspective to offer, it's just that I think it's irrelevant to this situation, which has little if anything to do with my having lived with them for a while. Part of the problem, I think, is that I moved in with the kid because my husband thought we should, ended up living there alone with her for four months because he thought he should live somewhere else, and am now left to deal with their behavior on my own when they are not my family. I don't think that's fair. I also don't think I should have to do whatever they want for the rest of my life because I lived with them for eight months. I wish I could just send them a check and be done with it.

In answer to your question, I could not go for a walk because there were no sidewalks and there was a deep ditch on either side of the road, making it impossible to push a stroller. At that stage, my child was still refusing to walk anywhere. I mean, of course she could walk, but she wouldn't go any distance. She wanted to be carried all the time or pushed in a stroller. Would literally sit down in the middle of the road if I tried to go for a walk.
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#36
(12-02-2010, 04:39 PM)Satori Wrote:
(12-02-2010, 04:33 PM)dark lancer Wrote:
(12-02-2010, 04:26 PM)Satori Wrote:
(12-02-2010, 04:19 PM)icecream Wrote: i sensed another conflagration

Would that make you happy?

You know, it perhaps needs to be said that most of the people who post here are real people with real problems looking for answers and that it is possible to cause them pain. It's sad that we live in a world in which we go to Internet strangers for help, but there it is. That's what we've become.

This is not directed at you, icecream.

It's hard to expect Internet strangers to only tell you everything you want to hear.  I am offering you a suggestion on how you may be able to improve your relationship.  If I had taken my own advice then maybe I would be on better speaking terms with the mother of the family who moved in with my family for 8-9 months, but now any apology or act of humility on my part would be pointless because I was too proud and the issue is moot now that they've been gone a couple years.

I understand, and I think what you said is for the most part a good perspective to offer, it's just that I think it's irrelevant to this situation, which has little if anything to do with my having lived with them for a while. Part of the problem, I think, is that I moved in with the kid because my husband thought we should, ended up living there alone with her for four months because he thought he should live somewhere else, and am now left to deal with their behavior on my own when they are not my family. I don't think that's fair. I also don't think I should have to do whatever they want for the rest of my life because I lived with them for eight months. I wish I could just send them a check and be done with it.

In answer to your question, I could not go for a walk because there were no sidewalks and there was a deep ditch on either side of the road, making it impossible to push a stroller. At that stage, my child was still refusing to walk anywhere. I mean, of course she could walk, but she wouldn't go any distance. She wanted to be carried all the time or pushed in a stroller. Would literally sit down in the middle of the road if I tried to go for a walk.

You're family now, you kind of married into it.  You're inevitably going to deal with them again, so you may as well do what you can to submit, especially to your husband's mother, if your sister- and mother-in-law have seemed to be angry with you or are trying to make you look and feel bad.  I don't mean that you should do whatever they want and be their slave, but in your mother-in-law's case she may see you as the woman who stole her little boy, so if you try to make it known to her that you think of yourself as a kind of daughter to her and offer her the respect you would give your own mother, she may accept you a little more and treat you with a little more latitude.
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#37
(12-02-2010, 04:49 PM)dark lancer Wrote:
(12-02-2010, 04:39 PM)Satori Wrote:
(12-02-2010, 04:33 PM)dark lancer Wrote:
(12-02-2010, 04:26 PM)Satori Wrote:
(12-02-2010, 04:19 PM)icecream Wrote: i sensed another conflagration

Would that make you happy?

You know, it perhaps needs to be said that most of the people who post here are real people with real problems looking for answers and that it is possible to cause them pain. It's sad that we live in a world in which we go to Internet strangers for help, but there it is. That's what we've become.

This is not directed at you, icecream.

It's hard to expect Internet strangers to only tell you everything you want to hear.  I am offering you a suggestion on how you may be able to improve your relationship.  If I had taken my own advice then maybe I would be on better speaking terms with the mother of the family who moved in with my family for 8-9 months, but now any apology or act of humility on my part would be pointless because I was too proud and the issue is moot now that they've been gone a couple years.

I understand, and I think what you said is for the most part a good perspective to offer, it's just that I think it's irrelevant to this situation, which has little if anything to do with my having lived with them for a while. Part of the problem, I think, is that I moved in with the kid because my husband thought we should, ended up living there alone with her for four months because he thought he should live somewhere else, and am now left to deal with their behavior on my own when they are not my family. I don't think that's fair. I also don't think I should have to do whatever they want for the rest of my life because I lived with them for eight months. I wish I could just send them a check and be done with it.

In answer to your question, I could not go for a walk because there were no sidewalks and there was a deep ditch on either side of the road, making it impossible to push a stroller. At that stage, my child was still refusing to walk anywhere. I mean, of course she could walk, but she wouldn't go any distance. She wanted to be carried all the time or pushed in a stroller. Would literally sit down in the middle of the road if I tried to go for a walk.

You're family now, you kind of married into it.  You're inevitably going to deal with them again, so you may as well do what you can to submit, especially to your husband's mother, if your sister- and mother-in-law have seemed to be angry with you or are trying to make you look and feel bad.  I don't mean that you should do whatever they want and be their slave, but in your mother-in-law's case she may see you as the woman who stole her little boy, so if you try to make it known to her that you think of yourself as a kind of daughter to her and offer her the respect you would give your own mother, she may accept you a little more and treat you with a little more latitude.

I see what you're saying -- I really do -- and I appreciate you making this point. But in this case it doesn't apply. The thought of my having stolen "her little boy" is actually really funny in this case because there is really no love lost between those two -- or, there is, but it was a long, long time ago. They forget each other's birthdays, as a trivial example of their relationship. And now he leaves me on my own to deal with her, which is the real problem.

I thought it was clear that I DID try to "submit" in the way you mean -- I have always done what she wanted. I resisted once, and she took it the wrong way. What I need is more healthy assertiveness, not more submission. But I am trying to patch things up with my SIL and let her know I'm sorry if I stepped on her toes during those eight months, even if it was unavoidable. It's hard to do this with people who won't talk to you when you bring anything up.
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#38
Im sorry Satori...my joking, as well, was innapropriate. I have lived in my in laws 1 bedroom basement with 4 kids for a year. To top it off, they were in the middle of a very messy divorce (after 30 yrs of marriage) and neither of them would move out. I was stuck in their house, desperately trying to keep my kids out of their way and stay quiet. I understand, and im sorry...
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#39
(12-02-2010, 05:00 PM)Satori Wrote:
(12-02-2010, 04:49 PM)dark lancer Wrote:
(12-02-2010, 04:39 PM)Satori Wrote:
(12-02-2010, 04:33 PM)dark lancer Wrote:
(12-02-2010, 04:26 PM)Satori Wrote:
(12-02-2010, 04:19 PM)icecream Wrote: i sensed another conflagration

Would that make you happy?

You know, it perhaps needs to be said that most of the people who post here are real people with real problems looking for answers and that it is possible to cause them pain. It's sad that we live in a world in which we go to Internet strangers for help, but there it is. That's what we've become.

This is not directed at you, icecream.

It's hard to expect Internet strangers to only tell you everything you want to hear.  I am offering you a suggestion on how you may be able to improve your relationship.  If I had taken my own advice then maybe I would be on better speaking terms with the mother of the family who moved in with my family for 8-9 months, but now any apology or act of humility on my part would be pointless because I was too proud and the issue is moot now that they've been gone a couple years.

I understand, and I think what you said is for the most part a good perspective to offer, it's just that I think it's irrelevant to this situation, which has little if anything to do with my having lived with them for a while. Part of the problem, I think, is that I moved in with the kid because my husband thought we should, ended up living there alone with her for four months because he thought he should live somewhere else, and am now left to deal with their behavior on my own when they are not my family. I don't think that's fair. I also don't think I should have to do whatever they want for the rest of my life because I lived with them for eight months. I wish I could just send them a check and be done with it.

In answer to your question, I could not go for a walk because there were no sidewalks and there was a deep ditch on either side of the road, making it impossible to push a stroller. At that stage, my child was still refusing to walk anywhere. I mean, of course she could walk, but she wouldn't go any distance. She wanted to be carried all the time or pushed in a stroller. Would literally sit down in the middle of the road if I tried to go for a walk.

You're family now, you kind of married into it.  You're inevitably going to deal with them again, so you may as well do what you can to submit, especially to your husband's mother, if your sister- and mother-in-law have seemed to be angry with you or are trying to make you look and feel bad.  I don't mean that you should do whatever they want and be their slave, but in your mother-in-law's case she may see you as the woman who stole her little boy, so if you try to make it known to her that you think of yourself as a kind of daughter to her and offer her the respect you would give your own mother, she may accept you a little more and treat you with a little more latitude.

I see what you're saying -- I really do -- and I appreciate you making this point. But in this case it doesn't apply. The thought of my having stolen "her little boy" is actually really funny in this case because there is really no love lost between those two -- or, there is, but it was a long, long time ago. They forget each other's birthdays, as a trivial example of their relationship. And now he leaves me on my own to deal with her, which is the real problem.

I thought it was clear that I DID try to "submit" in the way you mean -- I have always done what she wanted. I resisted once, and she took it the wrong way. What I need is more healthy assertiveness, not more submission. But I am trying to patch things up with my SIL and let her know I'm sorry if I stepped on her toes during those eight months, even if it was unavoidable. It's hard to do this with people who won't talk to you when you bring anything up.

I don't agree that assertiveness will do anything but give them more ammunition against you.  If submission doesn't work, then avoidance will.
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#40
Well, I'm trying to avoid. So far, it hasn't worked.

"Assertiveness" is certainly overused in our society at present, but my problem has always leaned toward having too little rather than too much. It has its place. Sure, it may give them ammunition in that they will have more to gossip about and hold against me, but if it teaches them that I do have boundaries that they must respect, that's worth something.
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