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Author Topic: facebooks and MIL boundaries...updates #7, #17, #19, #37  (Read 12011 times)

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LadyL

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Re: facebooks and MIL boundaries...frustrating update #7
« Reply #30 on: November 18, 2011, 08:24:34 AM »
I hate to be dissenting opinion here, but you may have to accept your new position as message wrangler.

I seem to be the point of contact for DH's family. They all (MIL, FIL, aunts, cousins, etc.) call or message me. The reason being that DH doesn't like dealing with his family... and they know that it will get taken care of if it goes through me. It didn't sit well in the beginning with me either, but my doing so makes things run so much more smoothly.  I am Buffer Woman, master message wrangler.  ;D

However, if this is a battle worth fighting, then by all means do so.


My European MIL, who is often very conventional (though not always!!), started talking to ME about "our" plans as a way to acknowledge that I was a permanent part of his life. In her world, the women of the family are all the social secretaries. And so she was actually demonstrating an ACCEPTANCE of me and of my permanence.

And in fact, for me to reject her query about a get-together would be the height of rejection. it would hurt her tremendously and really damage our relationship. For me to never respond, and to insist that she ONLY contact her son, would be essentially saying, "I don't want to have ANY relationship with you."

I can't imagine anything more damaging to that budding life-long relationship.

In my MIL's family, women are not only the social secretaries but also the keepers of the men. You see, men are bumbling idiots who need women's wisdom just to survive. It's the women's job to manipulate the men into doing what's best for them. This is best accomplished through tricks and lies. This has been told to me out right by both MIL as well as her sister, along with the expectation that I will participate in this sort of nonsense.

You can see why I might not want to participate in that type of family dynamic. If it costs me any deeper relationship with my MIL that's fine.

jibby

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Re: facebooks and MIL boundaries...updates #7, #17, #19
« Reply #31 on: November 18, 2011, 08:38:20 AM »
LordL for the win!  ;D

MIL sounds exhausting.  I wouldn't want to have a short (ha, master manipulators don't need more than a few minutes to wear out a person) conversation with her while dealing with an emergency, either.  LordL's emotional energy was better spent elsewhere for those 48 hours.  Good for him for choosing correctly.

VorFemme, funny you mention Ringgold.  I have family there and my mom tried reaching them during a crisis (except it was the tornado).  She called once, and while it was *very* hard to wait to hear if her beloved siblings were okay, she didn't want to be part of the problem.

Twik

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Re: facebooks and MIL boundaries...updates #7, #17, #19
« Reply #32 on: November 18, 2011, 08:55:15 AM »
not giving someone a decent amount of time to respond is ridiculously rude.

I think perhaps part of the problem is that when MIL (who I assume is of my generation or abouts) grew up, we had none o' that newfangled compooter stuff. Why, when we was out walkin' to school uphill in a snowstorm, and someone called, the dern teleophone didn't even take a message! So if you wanted to speak with someone badly, you just had to keep on calling, until you caught them at home.

Seriously, I suspect she's still mentally running that "script" from her youth, even if she's moved to Facebook and answering machines.
"The sky's the limit. Your sky. Your limit. Now, let's dance!"

LEMon

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Re: facebooks and MIL boundaries...updates #7, #17, #19
« Reply #33 on: November 18, 2011, 02:50:13 PM »
I can understand why she might think and act this way, but then there is how it affects LordL and LadyL.  They have decided she can rewrite her pov to accept that if a message is left, she will be contacted back when it works for him.  May or may not work, but I can understand why they feel this way.

nyoprinces

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Re: facebooks and MIL boundaries...updates #7, #17, #19
« Reply #34 on: November 18, 2011, 03:56:57 PM »
not giving someone a decent amount of time to respond is ridiculously rude.

I agree with this. I think a lot of people, my husband most definitely included, are less likely to respond the more they feel harassed. 6-8 calls in 2 days would guarantee my MIL wouldn't hear from him for another day or so.

Iris

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Re: facebooks and MIL boundaries...frustrating update #7
« Reply #35 on: November 18, 2011, 04:30:23 PM »
<snip>

In my MIL's family, women are not only the social secretaries but also the keepers of the men. You see, men are bumbling idiots who need women's wisdom just to survive. It's the women's job to manipulate the men into doing what's best for them. This is best accomplished through tricks and lies. This has been told to me out right by both MIL as well as her sister, along with the expectation that I will participate in this sort of nonsense.

You can see why I might not want to participate in that type of family dynamic. If it costs me any deeper relationship with my MIL that's fine.

I will just mention that in several families I have known (not mine, thankfully) this attitude was carefully encouraged and fostered by the men of the family. Why? Because it absolved them of any and all domestic responsibilities. So this is not always a case of reverse sexism - it is often a deeply ingrained symbiotic relationship formed over decades and generations. The benefit to the woman of course was that traditionally women had no power or independence and so this was the only field in which they could feel in control of their lives. So it really was a win win situation for some families.

Of course, the world has moved on, but not for everyone...
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.

LadyL

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Re: facebooks and MIL boundaries...updates #7, #17, #19
« Reply #36 on: November 27, 2011, 09:54:31 AM »
Hopefully a final update, it's a pretty good one:

We met the in-laws for our belated Thanksgiving dinner yesterday. Right at the end of dinner MIL turns to LordL and says, "I'll call you about our Christmas plans. You need to learn to call me back." He told her he would work on it in that "Mom, please not here and now" kind of tone. Then she turns to me. "I realize I probably made you upset with the facebook thing."

Me: BIG GULP OF WATER. No, MIL, it wasn't that exactly - it's just that between my mom's side of the family, my dad's side, my step family, and our friends I already juggle a lot of scheduling. LordL knows all your phone numbers and schedules so I leave him in charge of all that.

And thankfully, she moved on to lambasting how confusing facebook was and dropped the issue. Phew!

She *did* make an interesting assumption that both of us are coming up to celebrate Christmas at her house. LordL is going but I haven't 100% decided. But that's another story for another post...