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Author Topic: Christmas with PIL (my mum not with us anymore).  (Read 30686 times)

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Re: Christmas with PIL (my mum not with us anymore).
« Reply #60 on: October 29, 2012, 09:44:35 PM »
I think it would help you if you just stop thinking about what other people think.

What I am saying it does now matter if your mother in law thinks your a bad person, good person, purple, or green. What does matter it a firm backbone, and responding with action. If your not in a good place to deal with her right now then don't. If she thinks your a bad person let her think that. If the tells other people your a bad person and they respond to what she says they are not worth your time either. Stop thinking about the thoughts and rumors and only respond to things that have actually happened.


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Re: Christmas with PIL (my mum not with us anymore).
« Reply #61 on: October 29, 2012, 10:47:15 PM »
I may instead choose to phrase it as "I would not be comfortable showing that I am grieving and make Christmas celebrations uncomfortable for everyone but I am not going to be able to put on a happy face and pretend I am not grieving".  Do you think that would work as well?  I just wonder if that will prevent any "but mum & dad won't mind if you're upset" or "no one expects you to pretend that you don't miss your mum" responses.

Also, is it okay that I am responding to posts individually?  I tried the multiple quote thing and I found it a bit too confusing.

It might not prevent it, but then you can simply respond with "But I mind.  And I would feel uncomfortable". 

I do take some comfort that at least my in-laws were just clueless.  But it still hurt.

...And respond however you are comfortable responding.  ;)


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Re: Christmas with PIL (my mum not with us anymore).
« Reply #62 on: October 30, 2012, 06:23:38 AM »
To any "persuasion" from your DH or, your could simply say "I really need to process this in my own way, and own time.  I need you to be there for me while I grieve the loss of my mother, and to understand that your support means the world to me.  I can't do this without you."
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Re: Christmas with PIL (my mum not with us anymore).
« Reply #63 on: October 30, 2012, 01:03:53 PM »
I love Redsoil's answer.  It sounds like it would make the DH feel very needed by his wife, which is very true at this stage.

White Lotus

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Re: Christmas with PIL (my mum not with us anymore).
« Reply #64 on: October 30, 2012, 09:45:42 PM »
Grammarnerd, your blowup sounds normal, natural and human.  You aimed some of the feelings surrounding your grief at the nearest convenient and plausible target.  That wasn't polite, or even nice -- but under the circumstances, it is a small, understandable, fault, easily corrected.  Others do truly understand and courtesy requires them to have "already forgotten" or brush it off.  Rather like passing gas, there are some things etiquette, in kindness, discreetly ignores and rises above.

Shellybeans, while this is your first, and sadly, traumatic, married holiday season together, for which you have my sympathy, in my experience couples normally have the "what will we do for the relevant holiday" conversation a bit before the expectations and invitations start coming in.  You and DH have done so before, and often enough to establish traditions, now sadly shattered by your mother's death.  Please have this conversation, civilly and practically, with that "this year is in no way normal, things change with time so we're flexible, and begin as you mean to go on" attitude mentioned so often and well above. Please try to keep your emotions out of this conversation and work on civil and courteous.  Do your emotional work outside this conversation.  You are more likely to achieve your goals of getting DH on your page, establish you as a couple as the primary unit, getting your needs met this holiday season and ever after, and leaving the door open for changes.  They happen.  Our longstanding holiday traditions have often changed and changed back over the years, and are changing again as our children grow up and some of our siblings even have grandchildren.  Your MIL may have been abhorrant, but for right now, just go for achieving your objectives with perfect propriety in case things change, and you perhaps change your mind.


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Re: Christmas with PIL (my mum not with us anymore).
« Reply #65 on: October 31, 2012, 10:31:52 AM »
I just wanted to pop back in to comment on one thing - the "who would he rather have upset" idea. While this is a veryvalid point  know it can come with pitfalls. My MIL, although nowhere near as toxic a yours, was very PA and had a history of crying when she didn't like a situation. So early in our relationship, DH really *would* have rather upset me than his mother. Not because I was less of a priority or because he loved me less, simply because firstly I appeared less upset (because I reacted like an adult  ::) ) so he just didn't realise how I felt and secondly because it was just so much more unpleasant for him to have an upset mother than an upset wife. It took a lot of verbalising my feelings and pointing out his mother 'tricks' before he really understood the full implications of "who would you rather upset..."

Truth is, DH probably would prefer to deal with me being upset, rather than dealing with his mother, because we can come to some sort of resolution like adults (which so far he has been unable to do with MIL).  I am not going to guilt-trip him or threaten him, I don't say things like "if you loved me, you would..." and I certainly don't want to behave like she does just to get my way.  I have a problem with how she acts, I am not going to act like that.  I am sure he would not want me to be upset but if I am, it's a lot easier for him than if she is.

and if this is absolutely true, that your DH would rather have you upset than his mom, then you have way bigger issues than "where to spend christmas". If i wwere you - i would talk to him, and talk to him now. get a feel for where he stands. tell him exactly what you say here "i feel that if you had to choose, you would rather have me upset than your mom". ask him how he feels about that. cause if you ask me - that really stinks. because it's not that he is unable to handle his mother; it's that he won't do what he has to do. and there is a big difference. i mean what is the worst that will happen - she'll pout? she'll yell? she'll gossip about you?

you shouldn't have to resort to guilt trips or threats or behave like a baby.  you shouldn't have to be in the position of "making him choose". it shouldn't *be* a question - he should "choose" his wife. if his mother is a reasonable person, then there is always room for compromise. but she isn't.

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Re: Christmas with PIL (my mum not with us anymore).
« Reply #66 on: November 06, 2012, 03:08:58 PM »
I wanted to thank everyone for their comments & advice, I have read (and re-read) each reply and managed to get my own thoughts and feelings straightened out.  I will be using some of the strategies that have been suggested for future "discussions" - and I will be getting my hands on Toxic In-Laws & The Dance of Anger, for a little light bedtime reading. 

I have a small update, nothing huge but I did discuss Christmas with DH.  He knows I won't be spending time with his parents at Christmas and he is okay with that.  I am not yet sure what he intends to do, or if he has informed his parents about this.  I am not sure if I want to know how they react or not.  I did say that I don't mind if he sees his parents at Christmas, and I am not intending on stopping him but I would be sad if we didn't have time together.

He knows I dislike the way his parents have treated us and how they have behaved and he certainly knows that is affecting how I feel about spending time with them in general but I didn't make that the main issue.  Everything else, we will have to deal with if and when new situations arise (I am sure they will - FIL birthday is before Christmas, MIL birthday is after Christmas so that should be fun!).  I also let him know that I really did want this Christmas to be about new traditions for us, and I would have wanted that this year, regardless of everything else that has happened, because it is our first married Christmas.  He had a few ideas about what we could do and what he would like to do, so I feel good about that.