Author Topic: Christmas with PIL (my mum not with us anymore).  (Read 11351 times)

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AmethystAnne

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Re: Christmas with PIL (my mum not with us anymore).
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2012, 11:15:20 AM »
I am so sorry for the loss of your mother. Good Moms are precious.

I am also so sorry for your DH having this kind of a mother. Her attitude of "my way or the highway" is so sad.


Deetee

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Re: Christmas with PIL (my mum not with us anymore).
« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2012, 11:33:16 AM »
I agree with most of what was said on this thread with a couple points that deserve to be re-stated.

1)" Begin as you mean to go on" used to to be stated on this board a lot and is still food advice. Take a stand at the beginning and it gets easier every year (with the caveat of "extinction bursts" at first)

2) You are in mourning. Have the Christmas you want. The fact that you are OK with your husband doing some visiting himself tells me you are not stuck in some selfish phase.  Stay home, see close friends, see no-one. It's all good. Next year you can start to expand your Christmas.

3) Your husband should deliver the message BUT he should also be VERY clear that this is what HE WANTS as well (apologizing for yelling) so they cannot blame you for this decision.

GratefulMaria

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Re: Christmas with PIL (my mum not with us anymore).
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2012, 12:11:01 PM »
I am so sorry for your loss.  I'm also sorry you're faced with such difficult in-law behavior.

My go-to book is Susan Forward's Toxic Parents http://www.powells.com/biblio/95-9780307575326-0  She also wrote Toxic In-Laws.  I found both of them really straightforward and compassionate.



Minmom3

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Re: Christmas with PIL (my mum not with us anymore).
« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2012, 01:29:37 PM »
I am so sorry for the loss of your mother. Good Moms are precious.

I am also so sorry for your DH having this kind of a mother. Her attitude of "my way or the highway" is so sad.

I am envious that Shellybeans HAD a Mom whose loss she mourns so deeply.  How unfair that her MIL is the other end of the spectrum!

POD on figuring out what you need this Christmas, and worry about the rest of the Big Picture later on, when you yourself are in better shape for the conflict that will arise.   
Mother to children and fuzz butts....

sparksals

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Re: Christmas with PIL (my mum not with us anymore).
« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2012, 02:05:09 PM »
I am so sorry for your loss. 

I agree with the others that you and DH must be on the same page, but he must also be more sensitive to your needs and wants than his mother, especially given the circumstances. 

Someone upthread asked who he would prefer be upset with him - you or his mom?  Whom he chooses in that regard will be very telling. 

You also mentioned he dismisses the situation and his mother's actions by saying that is just the way she is.  That is a cop out.  He has to learn to put YOU, his WIFE first.  This is a highly emotionally charged time for you.  He needs to be there for YOU. 

You have every right not to celebrate Christmas or want to be near his family.  DH needs to respect that and portray a united front to his parents.  Period.

Sharnita

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Re: Christmas with PIL (my mum not with us anymore).
« Reply #20 on: October 28, 2012, 03:09:40 PM »
I am so sorry for your loss. 

I agree with the others that you and DH must be on the same page, but he must also be more sensitive to your needs and wants than his mother, especially given the circumstances. 

Someone upthread asked who he would prefer be upset with him - you or his mom?  Whom he chooses in that regard will be very telling. 

You also mentioned he dismisses the situation and his mother's actions by saying that is just the way she is.  That is a cop out.  He has to learn to put YOU, his WIFE first.  This is a highly emotionally charged time for you.  He needs to be there for YOU. 

You have every right not to celebrate Christmas or want to be near his family.  DH needs to respect that and portray a united front to his parents.  Period.

I think the actions that he dismisses are actions against himself,at least partially.  It also sound like he is aware of some but not all of what went down.  While it is important that he be sensitive it sounds like some of these issues have not been directly addressed or discussed, at least in terms of Christmas and what OP wants/needs.

sparksals

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Re: Christmas with PIL (my mum not with us anymore).
« Reply #21 on: October 28, 2012, 03:15:36 PM »
I am so sorry for your loss. 

I agree with the others that you and DH must be on the same page, but he must also be more sensitive to your needs and wants than his mother, especially given the circumstances. 

Someone upthread asked who he would prefer be upset with him - you or his mom?  Whom he chooses in that regard will be very telling. 

You also mentioned he dismisses the situation and his mother's actions by saying that is just the way she is.  That is a cop out.  He has to learn to put YOU, his WIFE first.  This is a highly emotionally charged time for you.  He needs to be there for YOU. 

You have every right not to celebrate Christmas or want to be near his family.  DH needs to respect that and portray a united front to his parents.  Period.

I think the actions that he dismisses are actions against himself,at least partially.  It also sound like he is aware of some but not all of what went down.  While it is important that he be sensitive it sounds like some of these issues have not been directly addressed or discussed, at least in terms of Christmas and what OP wants/needs.

Yes, absolutely.  There must be a discussion.  No doubt.

SPuck

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Re: Christmas with PIL (my mum not with us anymore).
« Reply #22 on: October 28, 2012, 03:22:49 PM »
I think what you need to do is shore up your backbone and have a discussion with your husband about what his mother did. MIL did A, B, C, and X, Y, Z when your mother was in the hospital and at her funeral. After he understands the gravity of the offense, or at least it's told clearly and concisely, you have a second discussion about a fair plan for Christmas. Him not seeing his mother during all of Christmas might be to a drastic cut, seeing her on Christmas eve while you get him for the rest of the holiday could work. It might be hard now, but your the one who is going to have to take a firm stance, especially if he has a hard time standing up to his mother. If your clear about what you wants, instead of giving him what ifs and maybes, it will work out better for everyone in the end.

Also when explaining the offenses his mother committed, I wouldn't use the words "I feel." If you say I feel, its your opinion about what happened during the situation. Instead of saying something like "I feel your mother insulted my mother" you should say "your mother called my mother a pig" the second one comes off stronger.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2012, 03:27:41 PM by SPuck »

Hmmmmm

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Re: Christmas with PIL (my mum not with us anymore).
« Reply #23 on: October 28, 2012, 04:00:20 PM »
I'm very sorry for your loss.  We lost our Dad in November and our Mom the following August so I understand the challenges of dealing with the holidays while trying to balance the needs of a SO. 

I agree with others that you need to decide what you want to do.  Tell your DH you want a low key holiday.  That you are fine with him giving gifts from the two of you for his family and spending time with them on Xmas Eve but you won't be attending.  And tell him you want to plan a Xmas day observance (not so much celebration) with him and your sis so the three of you can reminece about your mom without it putting a damper on others celebrations or making you feel like you have to present a more joyful personal than you feel. 

And some advice that helped me.  It is ok to feel resentment that others still have their mom and you don't.  Especially when you had a great one and they are complaining about the awful person that gave birth to them.  It's not fair and it never will be.  But also remember how wonderful it is that you had the privilege of having that wonderful woman in your life even if it was for a short time.  I used to remind myself that I would rather have had my parents for the 24 years they were with me than have different parents for 50.


Roses

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Re: Christmas with PIL (my mum not with us anymore).
« Reply #24 on: October 28, 2012, 05:30:12 PM »
First, I'm so sorry for your loss, my heart goes out to you.

You have to do what's right for you during this difficult time, if that means not celebrating Christmas with your MIL, then that's what you need to do. I would also echo what others have said, especially:

1) Start as you mean to continue.
2) Get your steel spine in place, if your MIL was inappropriate/mean during those most difficult times, you need to start standing up to her now so she knows how you expect to be treated.
3) You and your DH need to get on the same page.  The TWO of you are a family unit now and you need to put your family first, then decide together when/how/if to let others share in that family.
4) Regarding the gift, your DH should decide on/purchase the gift and card and sign it from both of you. 

Best of luck to you OP. 

sparksals

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Re: Christmas with PIL (my mum not with us anymore).
« Reply #25 on: October 28, 2012, 06:40:39 PM »
I think what you need to do is shore up your backbone and have a discussion with your husband about what his mother did. MIL did A, B, C, and X, Y, Z when your mother was in the hospital and at her funeral. After he understands the gravity of the offense, or at least it's told clearly and concisely, you have a second discussion about a fair plan for Christmas. Him not seeing his mother during all of Christmas might be to a drastic cut, seeing her on Christmas eve while you get him for the rest of the holiday could work. It might be hard now, but your the one who is going to have to take a firm stance, especially if he has a hard time standing up to his mother. If your clear about what you wants, instead of giving him what ifs and maybes, it will work out better for everyone in the end.

Also when explaining the offenses his mother committed, I wouldn't use the words "I feel." If you say I feel, its your opinion about what happened during the situation. Instead of saying something like "I feel your mother insulted my mother" you should say "your mother called my mother a pig" the second one comes off stronger.

I have to pod every single word of this post. 

kudeebee

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Re: Christmas with PIL (my mum not with us anymore).
« Reply #26 on: October 28, 2012, 06:45:05 PM »
I agree with what other posters have said.  You and dh need to sit down and have a long, serious talk about everything that has gone on with mil.Don't hide anythng from him.  You two must be on the same page and dh needs to put you first.

Then, decide how you want to spend christmas, both this year and possibly in the future.  If pil like Christmas eve, then perhaps dh goes and spends 3 or so hours with them.  Let him buy the gift from both of you and sign the card from both of you.  If you get a gift, write a thank you.  Then you can decide what to do with the gift.

Spend Christmas day with dh and your sister.  DH can drive you to the cemetery and come back and get you, or hang around in the car and read/surf the net.  If you don't feel like a boxing day party this year, don't have one.

Then next year, you can revisit this issue and make your plans accordingly.

Shellybeans

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Re: Christmas with PIL (my mum not with us anymore).
« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2012, 06:48:56 PM »
Forgive me, I am trying to do quotes so I can respond properly - this may not work.

Work out what would be the ideal Christmas for you, and establish what's a "need" and what is a "want." Then let your DH know what that is: I need you to come to the cemetery with me on Christmas day. I want to spend the whole day with you, but I know that you want to go to your parents' house for a while. I know that Christmas Eve is your family's traditional time together, so go, but please be home by 10 (or 11 or midnight or whatever).
I like this and I think I will try to use this.  I would like DH to consider his wants and needs also, and I am willing to compromise for us and our relationship.

Be gently honest with your DH. let him know that there is a reason that your MIL's children have nothing to do with her.
I was willing to give MIL the benefit of the doubt to begin with - I do know wonderful women who have toxic children (my own mother, also!) - but it has become clear to me that the problem is MIL not everyone else in the world.  I think DH is starting to understand that, too.

I am so sorry for the loss of your mother. Good Moms are precious.
Thank you - I know how lucky I was to have the mother that I did.  I could (and did) put up with a lot from MIL because I knew I had my mum, and I loved that DH got to see what a wonderful mum is like...she was diagnosed very soon after our engagement and he did not have the benefit of really knowing her at her very best for a long period of time.

1)" Begin as you mean to go on" used to to be stated on this board a lot and is still food advice. Take a stand at the beginning and it gets easier every year (with the caveat of "extinction bursts" at first)
If I knew then what I know now, I definitely would have established very clear boundaries and put some rules in place, but I didn't and the only thing that has been established is PILs behaviour and us (DH & me) letting them treat us badly.  I realise I am partly to blame, I just honestly didn't go in expecting the worst and MIL did not show her true colours from the very beginning.  I am, however, very willing to begin as I mean to go on from now on and I do think DH will be able to understand why changes will need to be made.

Thank you to everyone for the advice, I have read many previous threads about in-law problems and toxic relationships going back several years on this forum.  I wish I had been reading here from the beginning of our relationship!  I will address some more replies in my next post.

Auntie Mame

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Re: Christmas with PIL (my mum not with us anymore).
« Reply #28 on: October 28, 2012, 07:04:35 PM »
I went through some hard years with my family establishing and holding strong boundaries.  It is hard, very very hard to undo a lifetime of habits.  But I will tell you, once I did, things got so much better.

Continue communicating with your DH, it sounds like you have a good man there, and as long as you both keep an open dialogue and compromise you will find what works best.  The fact that you are both listening to other person and acknowledging needs and wants speaks volumes.

Just remember, compromise doesn't mean putting up with bad behavior.  My family and I have finally found solid ground and have put the past behind us.  It was a long road, and I had to hold my lonely ground for awhile, but eventually it got better.
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Shellybeans

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Re: Christmas with PIL (my mum not with us anymore).
« Reply #29 on: October 28, 2012, 08:51:44 PM »
I am so sorry for your loss.  I'm also sorry you're faced with such difficult in-law behavior.

My go-to book is Susan Forward's Toxic Parents http://www.powells.com/biblio/95-9780307575326-0  She also wrote Toxic In-Laws.  I found both of them really straightforward and compassionate.
I have seen those books recommended here before and I found "Toxic In-Laws" available as an eBook, I think I will be purchasing it today.  I will read it, I am not sure if DH would appreciate "Toxic Parents" for Christmas...but if Toxic In-Laws is helpful to me, I might suggest he has a read of it himself.

Someone upthread asked who he would prefer be upset with him - you or his mom?  Whom he chooses in that regard will be very telling. 
I never wanted it to have to be a choice, I would not have liked to have to choose between DH and my mum - but if she had treated him the way his mum has treated me, I would definitely have put DH first - but I can say that knowing my mum never would have treated DH badly.  My mum also never treated me badly, as his mum does to him. 

You also mentioned he dismisses the situation and his mother's actions by saying that is just the way she is.  That is a cop out.  He has to learn to put YOU, his WIFE first.  This is a highly emotionally charged time for you.  He needs to be there for YOU. 
I completely agree, I find "that's just the way he/she is" is almost always used as an excuse to excuse otherwise inexcusable behaviour (did that make sense?) - people are the way they are because they choose to be that way.  I am also aware that DH has been subjected to his mother's behaviour and this excuse for his mother all his life.

In every other situation, in every other way - he has put me first and he has been there for me, it has not been an easy year for him with his MIL being ill and dying and his wife grieving and other things that have happened, unrelated to this situation (financial problems, issues I have had with my work etc.). 

I think the actions that he dismisses are actions against himself,at least partially.  It also sound like he is aware of some but not all of what went down.  While it is important that he be sensitive it sounds like some of these issues have not been directly addressed or discussed, at least in terms of Christmas and what OP wants/needs.
 
Yes, you are quite right - she has treated him as badly as she has treated me - and he has had to put up with it for a lot longer and deal with the threats, guilt and fallout for a long time.   At the same time, I know he does have some good memories and experiences with his mother over 30+ years which I don't have and while I have told him what has happened after it has happened, he has not been present for a lot of it.  I haven't really broached Christmas with him yet.  I will get a discussion started tonight even if we don't resolve anything straight away it will give him some time to think about it.  I just wanted to try and get some things sorted out myself before we try and resolve this together and the replies here have helped me a lot.

You two must be on the same page and dh needs to put you first.
A lot of people have said this and I would like us to be in agreement and I would like DH to put me first - I would also like to make it clear that I will put him first and we will take it from there.  I don't think he really understands how I (or my sister) feel after losing mum and how this has affected us because he does not have with his parents what we had with our mother. 

it sounds like you have a good man there

Just remember, compromise doesn't mean putting up with bad behavior.  My family and I have finally found solid ground and have put the past behind us.  It was a long road, and I had to hold my lonely ground for awhile, but eventually it got better.
He is a good man.  I am glad you and your family were able to sort things out, I suspect with PIL, it will get worse before it gets better (and I am not convinced that it will get better).