Author Topic: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151  (Read 38347 times)

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*inviteseller

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59.
« Reply #75 on: April 23, 2013, 01:04:38 PM »
((((HUGS)))))))))))  It is so aggravating dealing with people like your MIL, but there can be no compromise with them.  I wish you didn't have to miss the reunion, but think of it this way...it was not going to be a reunion, it was going to be the Lord & LadyL day and that is not fair to you, nor the people who are coming from far and wide, who also may have things in their life to celebrate with the family.  Your MIL has proved herself to be sneaky and underhanded and has no problem lying to her son.  If anyone asks why you won't be there, be honest and say you wanted to celebrate the family but your MIL wanted to celebrate you and you weren't comfortable with that.

Auntie Mame

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59.
« Reply #76 on: April 23, 2013, 01:32:24 PM »
Big hugs to LordL and tell him I said, I promise it gets better.

He is in the middle of the hardest part of this process.  Laying the boundaries and following through on the consequences when said boundaries get stomped on.  It will be hard for him to hold is ground, and your MIL is going to go nuclear and use every trick in the book to get him to capitulate.

But it gets better.  Once he demonstrates there are solid consequences that he will not back down from, others will fall in line because they know he means what he says and says what he means.

Hang in there LordL!
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ladyknight1

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59.
« Reply #77 on: April 23, 2013, 01:44:49 PM »
A birthday cupcake and hug to LordL.

I know exactly what you are going through, LadyL. After ending the railroading, now we get blacklisted when family comes to visit. I stopped fighting MIL and we live separate lives.

jedikaiti

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59.
« Reply #78 on: April 23, 2013, 01:53:25 PM »
What a mess.

Is the reunion in another city?  If so, maybe you and LordL could book yourselves a nice little bed and breakfast in the area for the same time frame and then quietly invite the relatives you'd like to see to join you for brunch or something the morning after the reunion.  And tell them to say absolutely nothing to MIL.

I am advocating we do exactly that. We also have plenty of friends we can stay with in that area. We could still take the trip and see people separate from the reunion, though it will kick up some drama because MIL thinks everyone should do everything together as a faaaammmily for the entire week surrounding the reunion. My cynical take at this point is that her feelings are not our problem.

I am not sure I'd recommend that unless you can be really certain MIL won't find out and try to hijack even that. I'd visit the relatives at a different time entirely.
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Specky

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59.
« Reply #79 on: April 23, 2013, 03:19:08 PM »
Hugs all around and I'm sorry that you two are having to deal with a mess.

lowspark

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59.
« Reply #80 on: April 23, 2013, 04:29:24 PM »
What a mess.

Is the reunion in another city?  If so, maybe you and LordL could book yourselves a nice little bed and breakfast in the area for the same time frame and then quietly invite the relatives you'd like to see to join you for brunch or something the morning after the reunion.  And tell them to say absolutely nothing to MIL.

I am advocating we do exactly that. We also have plenty of friends we can stay with in that area. We could still take the trip and see people separate from the reunion, though it will kick up some drama because MIL thinks everyone should do everything together as a faaaammmily for the entire week surrounding the reunion. My cynical take at this point is that her feelings are not our problem.

I am not sure I'd recommend that unless you can be really certain MIL won't find out and try to hijack even that. I'd visit the relatives at a different time entirely.

Yeah, I'm thinking the same thing. You have a sort of a situation here. Your MIL has sent out invitations to a toast for the two of you and the two of you won't be there. Of course, MIL gets egg on her face for inviting people and the two of you not showing up. But by the same token, how is it going to reflect on you two, particularly to people who may not know any background about MIL's behavior?

I think you're better off staying as far away as possible so that if anyone questions why you weren't there, you can cite "prior commitment" and explain that the invitations were sent out by MIL without your knowledge or consent.

However, if you are actually there but choose not to attend, it almost makes you look vindictive. Like you're thumbing your nose at MIL. Like, hey, we're here! but we're purposely boycotting the event.

Now, you know that's what you're doing, and under the circumstances, it's perfectly reasonable to do. But in the long run, you want to be the ones who look as if you've done nothing wrong and that the entire situation is due to MIL's actions as opposed to your indignation with her actions.

MindsEye

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59.
« Reply #81 on: April 23, 2013, 04:37:45 PM »

I think you're better off staying as far away as possible so that if anyone questions why you weren't there, you can cite "prior commitment" and explain that the invitations were sent out by MIL without your knowledge or consent.

However, if you are actually there but choose not to attend, it almost makes you look vindictive. Like you're thumbing your nose at MIL. Like, hey, we're here! but we're purposely boycotting the event.


This.  Just don't go.

VorFemme

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59.
« Reply #82 on: April 23, 2013, 04:56:07 PM »
Don't be in the area.  MIL must be seen to have set things up when you two "couldn't be there" or it looks like you two are either in cahoots with her or KNEW that it was being changed from reunion to shower.

Is there any way MOST, if not all, of the family will be available for a mini-reunion around July 4th (USA), Thanksgiving (Canada or USA), or another major holiday in the next few months?  Which could become a mini-reunion, without the side tracking by MIL to shower or wedding reception (if it is after the wedding)?  Because I wouldn't put it past her to set up something along the lines of an extra reception or adding guests to the one you two are planning......

It just seems like it would be in character for her.
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WillyNilly

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59.
« Reply #83 on: April 23, 2013, 05:24:02 PM »
What a mess.

Is the reunion in another city?  If so, maybe you and LordL could book yourselves a nice little bed and breakfast in the area for the same time frame and then quietly invite the relatives you'd like to see to join you for brunch or something the morning after the reunion.  And tell them to say absolutely nothing to MIL.

I am advocating we do exactly that. We also have plenty of friends we can stay with in that area. We could still take the trip and see people separate from the reunion, though it will kick up some drama because MIL thinks everyone should do everything together as a faaaammmily for the entire week surrounding the reunion. My cynical take at this point is that her feelings are not our problem.

I am not sure I'd recommend that unless you can be really certain MIL won't find out and try to hijack even that. I'd visit the relatives at a different time entirely.

Yeah, I'm thinking the same thing. You have a sort of a situation here. Your MIL has sent out invitations to a toast for the two of you and the two of you won't be there. Of course, MIL gets egg on her face for inviting people and the two of you not showing up. But by the same token, how is it going to reflect on you two, particularly to people who may not know any background about MIL's behavior?

I think you're better off staying as far away as possible so that if anyone questions why you weren't there, you can cite "prior commitment" and explain that the invitations were sent out by MIL without your knowledge or consent.

However, if you are actually there but choose not to attend, it almost makes you look vindictive. Like you're thumbing your nose at MIL. Like, hey, we're here! but we're purposely boycotting the event.

Now, you know that's what you're doing, and under the circumstances, it's perfectly reasonable to do. But in the long run, you want to be the ones who look as if you've done nothing wrong and that the entire situation is due to MIL's actions as opposed to your indignation with her actions.

Well the middle ground is, if everyone will be in the area for a week or so, just show up a day or two after the official reunion, citing you were unable to make it to the reunion due to a previous conflict. That way you aren't obviously snubbing your MIL, you are simply doing your best to get to see family during what is a busy time for you.

So long as you make it clear well in advance that you aren't attending the reunion due to this prior commitment, you showing up as a surprise a few days later to squeeze in a lunch with Aunt Mildred makes you look gracious, like you made every effort to visit family, while still effectively boycotting MIL's party-jack.

artk2002

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59.
« Reply #84 on: April 23, 2013, 05:28:17 PM »
Hugs all around.

The one thing that makes me nervous now, about you not going, is this: Will MIL pull a martyr pose? "Oh woe is me! I invited LordL and LadyL and they snubbed me! They said they wanted a shower and now they've backed out!" If this is at all possible, then I suggest recruiting some relatives who might be sympathetic to your position and tell them the real story. Has MIL steamrollered anyone else in the family?
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

NyaChan

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59.
« Reply #85 on: April 23, 2013, 05:33:58 PM »
You know what, at some point you just have accept that MIL might say bad things about you.  The thing is, the people who genuinely know and care for you will either dismiss what they know you wouldn't have done or give you an opportunity to defend yourself.  The rest who believe her story wholesale are essentially showing that they thought badly enough of you in the first place that her story would seem plausible to them.

oogyda

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59.
« Reply #86 on: April 23, 2013, 05:39:34 PM »
I'd call one of those relatives to find out EXACTLY what the invitation says.  Is it it "Let's celebrate with a toast."  or " It's a shower. Bring gifts."?
Then I'd let relative know you won't be there and they can spread the word.
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AvidReader

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59.
« Reply #87 on: April 23, 2013, 06:00:23 PM »
F-MIL made her bed; let her lie in it.  Temporary cut direct.  No phone calls, emails, social media, or anything.  Don't take her calls or respond to her communications.  Total news blackout.  Just.do.not.show.up.  The embarrassment will be all hers.  Guests to F-MIL, "Well, where are they?"  F-MIL, "I don't know."   Guests to F-MIL, "So what's going on?"  JMHO, but you can't have it both ways on this one.  The half-measure of slipping into town to visit with selected relatives and not attend the main reunion will make for an even greater problem in this dynamic.

blarg314

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Frustrating update #15.
« Reply #88 on: April 23, 2013, 08:23:20 PM »

I can see now why avoidance and denial are his tactics of choice usually - facing the facts on this one brought up a lot of emotional baggage. There was a lot of fighting in his family growing up and I think he thought he could control it as an adult by giving in on pretty much anything that wasn't life or death. Realizing that his family is what it is, and that we will probably always have to keep them at arms length, is a hard thing to stomach.


Good luck!

If it help, think of it being like a wound gone bad. It's festering away in there, and might no hurt that much if you don't pick at it, but it has to be drained and treated properly before it can heal. And it hurts. 

I personally would avoid the whole event - showing up in the area but not attending is likely to escalate things, and you'll have an infuriated/weepy MIL showing up at your hotel to berate you, with a Greek chorus of agitated relatives behind her.

For the general issue - counselling with a specialist in family issues (rather than a straight up marriage counsellor)  could be really, really helpful. The therapist will have seen hundreds of cases just like this, and can help both of you figure out a good way of handling his family that will, hopefully, eventually result in a healthier situation all round. It may also help LordL to come to terms with things if he has a better grasp of how and why these things go. 



kudeebee

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59.
« Reply #89 on: April 24, 2013, 01:32:31 AM »
I agree with the posters who say stay away from the reunion and that you can't have it both ways.  i would not go before or after either--stay away from the area.  Either you suck it up and go to the reunion and let mil have her shower/toast (which is not what you two want and will only show mil that if she harps long enough, you two will give in and she can do what she wants) or you tell her you will not be there. 

If you do go and try to have a get together without mil finding out, it will probably backfire on you.  If relatives find out you are in the area and not at the reunion, they will surely ask questions.  Trying to plan a brunch with them during or even after the reunion will cause them to ask why you aren't at the reunion or for them to call mil and ask what is going on.  Then you will really have a mess on your hands.  If you are not in the area, then there can be no guessing as to what is going on, why you are snubbing the family, etc.

Better to tell mil "We will not be at the reunion.  we asked you to not have a shower and lordl asked you to wait on sending the invitations, but you did anyway.  We do not want the reunion to be about us, especially since not everyone who is attending is invited to the wedding.  So, we will not be attending."

While it is sad that LordL won't be able to see some relatives at the reunion, the two of you should make plans to see them another time or if they are invited to the wedding, you will get to see them then.