Author Topic: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151  (Read 40060 times)

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Twik

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, another update #90
« Reply #135 on: April 29, 2013, 10:07:05 PM »
Turtledove - Lady L's future MIL has a habit of ignoring boundaries - and as many of us who have ILs who don't respect boundaries have learned you need to set boundaries, stick to them, AND there need to be consequences

I agree with this, but presumably the inlaws know MIL.  Presumably, if this is the way she is, she is not going to be pulling the wool over everyone's eyes. To me, if MIL is a toxic person, the inlaws know this.  To me, skipping the reunion is not going to be a good move to ingratiate the OP and her DF with the inlaws.  Let MIL make a fool of herself.  If the inlaws don't see it that way, that's another story.  But assuming they get that MIL is the "bad actor" here, I don't think the OP and her DF "win" by skipping the reunion.

Why do we assume that the inlaws all sort of roll their eyes at MIL as the "bad actor" and ignore her? People like this usually steamroll swathes of relatives who are unable to stand up to the boundary pushing.

Plus, if the inlaws are so petty that skipping the reunion fails to "ingratiate" me with them, I wouldn't necessary want to know them well anyway.
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kudeebee

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, another update #90
« Reply #136 on: April 29, 2013, 10:30:30 PM »
Do not plan another activity around the time of the reunion and definitely do not go to any part of the reunion or meet up with the relatives when they are in town for the reunion.  It will end up backfiring on you in some way.

You and dh have made a choice, to set a boundary with mil.  In this case it means not attending the reunion due to her not respecting your wishes, even when she said she would.  You have made a great gain and do not want to lose it.  If you go to any part of the reunion, mil will not see that as you doing what you want, but as you really didn't mean what you said and you will have the same type of situation happen again in the future.

Any time you make a choice there are consequences.  The good consequence in this case is that mil, and by extension fil, will know you are serious and will follow through with your boundaries.  (Thus you cannot show up for any part of it, meet up later, plan your own activity.)

The bad consequence is that LordL will not get to see his relatives at this year's reunion.  It sucks and it doesn't seem fair, but that is part of the decision that you are making.  If you want to make the point with mil, you have to also accept this consequence and not go, see them any other time or plan an event.  It will be tough, but you will get through it and the benefits in the long run will be sooooo worth it.

You will see a lot of them at your wedding. maybe you can also make plans to visit them separately at a different time than the reunion if time, money and distance permits.

TurtleDove

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, another update #90
« Reply #137 on: April 29, 2013, 10:38:25 PM »
Why do we assume that the inlaws all sort of roll their eyes at MIL as the "bad actor" and ignore her? People like this usually steamroll swathes of relatives who are unable to stand up to the boundary pushing.

Plus, if the inlaws are so petty that skipping the reunion fails to "ingratiate" me with them, I wouldn't necessary want to know them well anyway.

We don't assume this.  We just know that the DF wants to go to the reunion. I think it sends a strong statement to skip the reunion.  If the OP and her DF are okay with this, great! I have not gotten the sense that the DF is okay with this.

weeblewobble

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, another update #90
« Reply #138 on: April 29, 2013, 10:41:42 PM »
  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.

How many times has he already told them ya'll wouldn't be coming?! If his family has any flying monkeys, look out for them to descend upon ya'll soon.

That part bothers me a little too.  You've made your decision.  There is no window for re-negotiation.  It's as if no decision is final as long as it conflicts with what they want.

buvezdevin

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, another update #90
« Reply #139 on: April 29, 2013, 10:55:55 PM »
  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.

How many times has he already told them ya'll wouldn't be coming?! If his family has any flying monkeys, look out for them to descend upon ya'll soon.

That part bothers me a little too.  You've made your decision.  There is no window for re-negotiation.  It's as if no decision is final as long as it conflicts with what they want.

Yes, that is not good.  It implies that the two of you will see this isn't enough of an issue (MIL's actions disregarding your wishes, and *her* commitment to not trample them) to skip the reunion.  When LordL speaks with FIL or MIL next, it might be worth saying "we have thought about this, we are in a situation we expressly tried to avoid by stating our views and feelings which MIL ignored and acted against - we won't agree to pretend that is okay with us, so - We did not create the issue, we cannot and would not care to restate an invitation MIL sent, and won't attend as things stand."

What it would be good to ensure you and LordL agree on is whether or not there is any action the ILs could take that would change your willingness to attend the reunion.  Not saying there is or should be, but good to make sure you are both aligned should IL's offer - or more likely *ask* what will it take for you to attend the reunion.
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LifeOnPluto

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, another update #90
« Reply #140 on: April 29, 2013, 11:06:05 PM »
The danger with attending the reunion, is that the MIL will probably continue steam-rolling over LadyL and LordL's wishes, and proceed with turning it into a shower.

That said, if LordL badly wants to attend this reunion, that should be taken into account. Is there anyway that you guys can just attend for the last couple of hours? Don't tell MIL beforehand you're coming, just rock up unexpectedly. That way, she won't have any time to do any "advance planning".



 

lowspark

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, another update #90
« Reply #141 on: April 30, 2013, 09:16:41 AM »
Turtledove - Lady L's future MIL has a habit of ignoring boundaries - and as many of us who have ILs who don't respect boundaries have learned you need to set boundaries, stick to them, AND there need to be consequences

I agree with this, but presumably the inlaws know MIL.  Presumably, if this is the way she is, she is not going to be pulling the wool over everyone's eyes. To me, if MIL is a toxic person, the inlaws know this.  To me, skipping the reunion is not going to be a good move to ingratiate the OP and her DF with the inlaws.  Let MIL make a fool of herself.  If the inlaws don't see it that way, that's another story.  But assuming they get that MIL is the "bad actor" here, I don't think the OP and her DF "win" by skipping the reunion.

Regarding the bolded above, not necessarily. I've seen situations where the one who is doing the trampling and manipulating has everyone else convinced that s/he is the one being wronged. Especially if the pattern has been to let her do this in the past for the sake of peace and avoiding conflict, now that someone is actually standing up to her, she will perceive it as being against her and will color it that way as she tells "her side" to anyone and everyone who will listen.

I agree that OP and DF will not win, but they've already not won. If they go to the reunion now, the potential is to lose even more. Either MIL will take it as tacit approval for her plan and follow through with the shower/toast somehow, or the relatives will see OP & DH's appearance as a tug-of-war for the relatives' attention, putting them in a bad light and reinforcing the perception that MIL is the innocent who is being wronged.

If this was a one time thing, you could chalk it up to being a misunderstanding or over-enthusiasm over her son's engagement. But a lifetime pattern of this behavior is not going to end over one teary phone call (where MIL didn't even apologize for herself!). There are going to be more inciddents and Lord & Lady L are going to have to go through more anquish and loss if they are really going to drive home their intent to stop the steam rolling.

VorFemme

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, another update #90
« Reply #142 on: April 30, 2013, 10:32:48 AM »
If the HC show up at the reunion together - MIL/MOG gets the impression that "they didn't mean it" and continues moving her boundaries farther out (and they are already so far out that you need a telescope to see them) and even her husband gets the idea that the HC aren't that upset.......

If LordL shows up by himself, he risks his mother getting the message that it's just LadyL that is silly about those boundary things - and she continues to move her boundaries out and keeps LordL "under her control" (which might be the real issues - her DH and her son are HERS and will do what she says or else - and going all Jane Goodall and observing the silverback female's attempts to control her mate, her son, and establish an alpha position over her son's mate doesn't make it any less annoying when you're the son's potential mate and want to control your own life, thank you very much).

The way to start setting boundaries at a reasonable level is to make sure that MOG does not get away with moving the boundaries wherever she wants them....so they have to let her know that having a shower at the LordL's family reunion is NOT going to happen because the HC will not be there.  Period.  Full stop.  Not happening.  No way.

See you all NEXT year or possibly at the wedding and or the reception - but we are NOT available for the reunion. 

And LordL's family may have learned that his mother is going to be large & in charge - so they kind of sit back and let her run things, because it is easier, because it isn't worth the hassle it takes to rein her in, or because they want to go to the reunion & see their relatives, even if she is trying to run things again.   
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blarg314

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Frustrating update #15.
« Reply #143 on: April 30, 2013, 10:05:59 PM »

It's my experience that dysfunctional, boundary pushing family members tend not to come in isolation.

He said to me, "Well the rest of the family just lies down and takes it when she does this stuff to them. I at least pushed back on her a lot." T

Quote
I know it will hurt LordL a bit (he'd like me there because reacquainting with his relatives is a bit emotionally fraught for him),

I found this in an earlier post. That tells me that the rest of the family is unlikely to admit that MIL's behaviour is unreasonable, or to side with Lord and LadyL if it comes to an open confrontation.  So the forced shower at the private after party, with MIL in attendance (or the free for all fight, also with MIL in attendance) are distinct possibilities.

LadyL

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, another update #90
« Reply #144 on: May 01, 2013, 11:17:51 AM »
I just got a facebook message from MIL that just says "I'm sorry." I guess that's a start but it isn't going to sway our plans not to go. I am thinking of suggesting to LordL that we make an entirely separate visit weeks before or after the reunion so we can still see his relatives without it weirdly interacting with the reunion (or looking spiteful as some have mentioned).

artk2002

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, another update #90
« Reply #145 on: May 01, 2013, 11:22:49 AM »
I just got a facebook message from MIL that just says "I'm sorry." I guess that's a start but it isn't going to sway our plans not to go. I am thinking of suggesting to LordL that we make an entirely separate visit weeks before or after the reunion so we can still see his relatives without it weirdly interacting with the reunion (or looking spiteful as some have mentioned).

Sounds like a good plan.
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gramma dishes

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, another update #90
« Reply #146 on: May 01, 2013, 11:27:19 AM »
...   I am thinking of suggesting to LordL that we make an entirely separate visit weeks before or after the reunion so we can still see his relatives without it weirdly interacting with the reunion (or looking spiteful as some have mentioned).

That sounds like a good idea.  It doesn't require the two of you to back down on your position, but it gives LordL an opportunity to see his relatives, which is the only reason he wanted to go to the reunion in the first place.

Especially if you see the relatives in smaller groups, it also gives you an opportunity to get to know them better and for them to get to know you better.

Calypso

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, another update #90
« Reply #147 on: May 02, 2013, 08:37:13 PM »
I just got a facebook message from MIL that just says "I'm sorry." I guess that's a start but it isn't going to sway our plans not to go. I am thinking of suggesting to LordL that we make an entirely separate visit weeks before or after the reunion so we can still see his relatives without it weirdly interacting with the reunion (or looking spiteful as some have mentioned).

POD to this sounding like a good plan.
Have you responded graciously to her apology? Because I think (as you would with a toddler you're trying to civilize) that her effort to apologize should be encouraged, a lot. It's a big deal for a boundary-trampler to admit they're wrong, please don't send her back into her stubborn mindset by ignoring her effort there.

BarensMom

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, another update #90
« Reply #148 on: May 03, 2013, 10:51:58 AM »
I just got a facebook message from MIL that just says "I'm sorry." I guess that's a start but it isn't going to sway our plans not to go. I am thinking of suggesting to LordL that we make an entirely separate visit weeks before or after the reunion so we can still see his relatives without it weirdly interacting with the reunion (or looking spiteful as some have mentioned).

POD to this sounding like a good plan.
Have you responded graciously to her apology? Because I think (as you would with a toddler you're trying to civilize) that her effort to apologize should be encouraged, a lot. It's a big deal for a boundary-trampler to admit they're wrong, please don't send her back into her stubborn mindset by ignoring her effort there.

I agree to gracefully accept her apology.  However, if you do plan a separate visit, don't let her know that/when you're coming or she may still try to pull off a shower.

mharbourgirl

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, another update #90
« Reply #149 on: May 03, 2013, 11:36:23 AM »
I hate to be the voice of dissent here, but that is a pretty weak apology. 

'I'm sorry'... sorry for WHAT?  Sorry that it's raining today? 

Sorry that the BOGO sale at the shoe store is over? 

Sorry that she was a heinous butt who tried to trample all over everyone in her desperation to get her own way no matter what?

That wouldn't be enough to get me to respond, I'm afraid.  She needs to be a lot more honest and specific about what she's apologizing for before I could take it seriously or accept it as sincere.