Author Topic: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151  (Read 39439 times)

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LadyL

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Frustrating update #15.
« Reply #90 on: April 29, 2013, 10:51:51 AM »
On Sunday he spoke with his mother and asked her to not sent the invitations yet (the ones that say "let's celebrate Lord and Lady L" instead of calling it a family reunion). She agreed to hold off. Yesterday he spoke to her about our proposed changes to the invite and to clarify the nature of the event. She played along for a while but then finally let it slip that she already mailed the invitations. :o

Yep, she just blatantly ignored our request and sent a bunch of them out to his relatives (not to the bridal party or my family, thankfully). LordL got really angry with her. He held it together and was polite but you could hear the anger in his voice. He eventually cut off the conversation entirely.

Ok, so another update. LordL took a few days to cool down after the last conversation where the above happened. It turned out that MIL either lied about not mailing invites to my family, or did so after their conversation, because both my parents mentioned getting them. I had to have the fun impromptu conversation about how there was a "misunderstanding" and the event wasn't happening so they shouldn't make travel arrangements. All of these experiences really drove home to us that we couldn't continue having our boundaries trampled.

LordL and I went over the main points he needed to convey and wrote them out. He called and told his mother that her actions violated our trust and since the nature of the event was not what we agreed upon we would not be attending. She almost immediately handed the phone over to his father. LordL had a similar but more detailed conversation with him. His father actually acknowledged that MIL was out of line, apologized on behalf of both of them, said he would respect whatever decision we made, and asked us to take a few days to make sure we were sure. LordL agreed. We talked after and still intend to decline the event, but are kicking around ideas about having our *own* event (no involvement from MIL) on a different day when everyone will still be in town. Thoughts on this are appreciated.

Apparently this is the first time LordL can EVER remember getting an apology from either of them (and far, far worse stuff has gone down in the past), and feeling like he was able to talk to his father like an adult. So that is a victory there. He used a ton of "I feel" statements and that is a big difference from prior conversations. Also, in our 8 years together I've never seen this dynamic of MIL as bad cop and FIL as mediator - apparently FIL only steps in when both ILs know MIL has gone way over the line. I am not sure how I feel about them playing off each other this way but LordL feels the apology from FIL was on behalf of both of them as a social unit and if he's happy, I'm happy.

gramma dishes

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, another update #90
« Reply #91 on: April 29, 2013, 11:01:34 AM »
It sounds like real progress is being made here!   :)

ladyknight1

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, another update #90
« Reply #92 on: April 29, 2013, 11:04:39 AM »
From the update, I am shocked MIL went there. I am so proud of you and LordL, I hope you can make your independent event happen and not let MIL railroad you any further.

AvidReader

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, another update #90
« Reply #93 on: April 29, 2013, 11:23:21 AM »
The result of this phone call, as you reported it, is a *huge* first step in establishing a very important boundary.  IMHO, the best follow-through will be for you and LordL not to show up any where near the reunion.  Not showing up at all will silently, but seriously, reinforce this boundary.   The lesson for F-MIL is, "cross a boundary and you are on your own because we don't show up."  It may give her pause. 

I realize this will be very hard for you and particularly for LordL, but I think that planning your own event while everyone is still in town for the reunion will be darned near impossible without word about it getting out to F-MIL who might take it as rubbing her nose in it and the unintended consequence could be messy indeed. 

Sophia

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, another update #90
« Reply #94 on: April 29, 2013, 11:33:06 AM »
There is something about the idea of an FMIL-not-invited mini-reunion that says "look at me".  I know your heart is in the right place. 

If LordL really wants to see the relatives, I would show up after the official reunion, and join whatever the family was doing already. 

TurtleDove

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, another update #90
« Reply #95 on: April 29, 2013, 11:38:06 AM »
There is something about the idea of an FMIL-not-invited mini-reunion that says "look at me".  I know your heart is in the right place. 

If LordL really wants to see the relatives, I would show up after the official reunion, and join whatever the family was doing already.

Yes, I really don't understand why you would be considering throwing yourselves a party after making such a big deal about MIL NOT throwing you one.  I am not certain what you would be accomplishing by throwing your own event aside from making yourselves look petty and vindictive and really hurting MIL, who while she clearly has boundary issues still seems, to me, to have her heart in the right place. If you don't want to be celebrated for your engagement, don't throw yourselves a party. 

LadyL

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, another update #90
« Reply #96 on: April 29, 2013, 11:41:25 AM »
There is something about the idea of an FMIL-not-invited mini-reunion that says "look at me".  I know your heart is in the right place. 

If LordL really wants to see the relatives, I would show up after the official reunion, and join whatever the family was doing already.

Yes, I really don't understand why you would be considering throwing yourselves a party after making such a big deal about MIL NOT throwing you one.  I am not certain what you would be accomplishing by throwing your own event aside from making yourselves look petty and vindictive and really hurting MIL, who while she clearly has boundary issues still seems, to me, to have her heart in the right place. If you don't want to be celebrated for your engagement, don't throw yourselves a party.


We definitely do not want it to be an engagement/bridal anything. We are ok with hosting something informal ("family reunion brunch" or some such), or maybe having LordL's brother host, but not with being the guests of honor (since as you point out that was the whole point of contention in the first place). He is just trying to figure out a way to still see his relatives without MIL "brokering" the whole thing. Like I said, I'm not sure if this is realistic, but I figured I'd get feedback and ideas.

o_gal

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Frustrating update #15.
« Reply #97 on: April 29, 2013, 11:44:05 AM »
We talked after and still intend to decline the event, but are kicking around ideas about having our *own* event (no involvement from MIL) on a different day when everyone will still be in town. Thoughts on this are appreciated.

While it would a very nice thing to have your own "event", I strongly suggest that you don't. You have a MIL who tramples every boundary, who lies, who goes behind your back, etc. If she gets even one whiff that you are going to have something, she will ferret out the info and take it that she has another chance to force this shower on you. I think it's too great a risk and you will need to treat this year's reunion as one that you just cannot attend at all, at any time. It sucks, and so here are some {{{{{{HUGS}}}}}} to get you through this.

Bethalize

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, another update #90
« Reply #98 on: April 29, 2013, 11:45:21 AM »
We definitely do not want it to be an engagement/bridal anything. We are ok with hosting something informal ("family reunion brunch" or some such), or maybe having LordL's brother host, but not with being the guests of honor (since as you point out that was the whole point of contention in the first place). He is just trying to figure out a way to still see his relatives without MIL "brokering" the whole thing. Like I said, I'm not sure if this is realistic, but I figured I'd get feedback and ideas.

Given all that has gone before, I suggest ninety minute to two hour slots for brunch, coffee, lunch, afternoon tea, drinks and dinner where you arrange to meet people in ones and twos. That way there's no problem and you get quality time not quantity.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, another update #90
« Reply #99 on: April 29, 2013, 11:48:03 AM »
Would eHell give a pass on crashing the reunion?  RSVP No, let MIL wear her egg, then drop in at a non-food time just to say 'Hi', without telling anyone you were doing it.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
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JoyinVirginia

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, another update #90
« Reply #100 on: April 29, 2013, 11:53:07 AM »
The way your mil acts, if you do go anywhere near the reunion, only go at very last minute with no advance word to anyone. St least, no advance word to anyone mil could pump for info

gramma dishes

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, another update #90
« Reply #101 on: April 29, 2013, 11:53:19 AM »
I'd avoid the reunion -- all of it -- at all costs.

You can get together later (or beforehand) with a few of them here and there at other times.  But not during MIL's shindig at all.

I would also contact any other people you know of who were invited by MIL and give them the same information you gave your own parents.  Basically, "Sorry for the misunderstanding, but we won't be there."

doodlemor

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, another update #90
« Reply #102 on: April 29, 2013, 11:53:52 AM »
I POD those who say to just skip the whole thing.  If you try to have any sort of event at all it will just look like you hijacked MIL's party.  There is also the consideration of those relatives who aren't going to be invited to the wedding.

I presume that you have put down all kinds of deposits for your upcoming wedding.  If not, you might want to rethink how you are going to do it, in case MIL has plans of her own there, too.

lowspark

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, another update #90
« Reply #103 on: April 29, 2013, 12:00:19 PM »
I said this before and still think it. Don't go to the reunion at all. No part of it. Don't organize anything outside the normal stuff and especially something that excludes MIL (which you would have to do if you don't want her to wrangle her way after all).

It's only going to make you look bad. It's going to make you look vindictive and petty. "We shunned the event MIL planned and now we're rubbing it in her face." Plus, as others noted, there's the possibility of her finding out anyway and taking it as her cue to follow through with her original plan. Don't do it.

You have to teach MIL how to not cross your boundaries, right? Teaching this kind of lesson is hard and it takes sacrifice on your end in order to make her understand you mean what you say. In this case, the sacrifice is to completely forgo the reunion. I just don't think there's any other way.

When my kids were little, I left grocery stores, restaurants, libraries, etc. because I had to teach them that if they misbehaved we'd leave and that when I said that I meant it. It only took a few times but they learned. Believe me, neither they nor I wanted to leave these places. I really hated doing it. But it was a sacrifice today for behavior in the future.

And when I look back at all the subsequent pleasant experiences, it makes those sacrfices seem fairly insignificant. Of course, at the time, it's a huge hassle! But so worth it when you never have to deal with that particular behavior again, and when the child (or in this case MIL) learns that you mean what you say, in the future when you say "don't" she won't.

whiskeytangofoxtrot

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Frustrating update #15.
« Reply #104 on: April 29, 2013, 12:02:46 PM »
We talked after and still intend to decline the event, but are kicking around ideas about having our *own* event (no involvement from MIL) on a different day when everyone will still be in town. Thoughts on this are appreciated.

While it would a very nice thing to have your own "event", I strongly suggest that you don't. You have a MIL who tramples every boundary, who lies, who goes behind your back, etc. If she gets even one whiff that you are going to have something, she will ferret out the info and take it that she has another chance to force this shower on you. I think it's too great a risk and you will need to treat this year's reunion as one that you just cannot attend at all, at any time. It sucks, and so here are some {{{{{{HUGS}}}}}} to get you through this.

POD, but for a slightly different reason. JMO, I agree that it would be best to avoid the reunion, but it seems to me that to organize something else excluding MIL could stir up hurt feelings/drama you don't need, were she to find out (and chances are very good that she would), and put innocent people in the middle. Might be best just to wait to see everyone at the next family shindig.