Author Topic: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151  (Read 42297 times)

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TurtleDove

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, another update #90
« Reply #150 on: May 03, 2013, 11:51:46 AM »
Since this is the OP's future MIL, she should consider what she actually wants.  If she wants to be "right" and justified in her opinion that her MIL is a selfish overstepping jerk, she certainly would be entitled to be harsh in her dealings with the MIL.  But if she wants to make life easier for her DH and for herself and foster a relationship with MIL that will hopefully move on productively from the rocky start, she would be better served to be kind and forgiving.  The MIL is not going to go away, and if the OP takes a harsh stance, this could drive a wedge not only between herself and MIL, and her DH and MIL, but between her DH and the OP.  If it were me, I would be less focused on how MIL has wronged me and more focused on how I can foster a positive relationship with MIL.  Unless the DH is willing to completely cut MIL out of his life, the OP is not likely going to reap anything positive from taking a harsh stance and demanding a grovelling apology or anything like that.

LadyL

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, another update #90
« Reply #151 on: May 03, 2013, 12:35:34 PM »
So I am confused and a little frustrated.

The apologies from MIL and FIL seem to have mollified LordL. He now thinks the event is salvageable if he cuts his mother out of the planning and works directly with his dad. I told him I don't get how that works - the invitations are out, they are not what we wanted, so how do we suddenly change the event without it looking odd? Issue new invitations? We shouldn't be hosting it if it's in recognition of us, even just a toast I think, and if his dad is hosting but not his mom that is also odd. He suggested that his brother could host, but host what exactly? We wanted the usual family reunion with 5-10 minutes dedicated to toasting us. That is not what the invites stated. I don't get how we can "reframe" the event at this point as he put it.

I think he is just really disappointed about missing out on a large gathering of his relatives especially the ones he hasn't seen in 10+ years. He's grasping at straws for how to make it work. I have said over and over that we can make plans to visit his family on our own on a separate date.,  but he is very resistant to that idea and I don't know why.

I told him to think more about it and we can talk again. But now I'm back in the position of feeling like the bad guy for wanting to maintain boundaries. He's sort of implying that I'm coming in between him and his family. I am not sure what is left if we continue to disagree expect tell him that he is free to go to the event on his own but that I am not personally comfortable attending. I know that would hurt him a lot, but again, there is no avoiding hurt in this situation and I feel his loyalty should be to our social unit.

JenJay

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #152 on: May 03, 2013, 01:01:50 PM »
I would not allow this woman to divide and conquer your relationship. It sounds like your DF is planning to attend with or without you so you can either take a step back from this relationship, or, what I would do? I would say to him...

"Okay babe, you win. We'll go to the reunion/toast/shower/whatever because I can appreciate how important this is to you. I'm done fighting about it. I can see how hurt you are at the prospect of missing this event so I'll go to the whatever-it-is with you, okay? And I'll be smiling and gracious and nobody will ever know there was an issue. I'll do this for YOU.

Here is what I get in return - I'm done. I'm done arguing with your mom. I'm done trying to compromise. I'm done being the bigger person. I'm done feeling like I'm the one putting you in the middle. From now on she is YOUR problem. You will handle it. If we decide something is going to go this or that way and she doesn't like it I do not want to hear about it. I do not care. I'll do this one last thing for you and then you're on your own with her. If you aren't willing to stand next to me when your mom pulls this stuff then you're going to have to learn to stand alone because I WILL be standing up for myself, with or without you, starting the day after the reunion. I have no intention of spending the rest of my life worrying about whether or not she's happy with a decision we've made. If you have a problem with that you should reconsider whether or not you want to marry me."
« Last Edit: May 03, 2013, 01:03:41 PM by JenJay »

Specky

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #153 on: May 03, 2013, 01:04:27 PM »
I'd say that the inlaws have a lot of practice in manipulating him right where they want him.  His allegiance should be to you and a separate visit can be planned at another time.

amylouky

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #154 on: May 03, 2013, 01:10:35 PM »
Is it possible for MIL (since she sent the original invitation) to send out a clarification note to the invitees?
Something along the lines of,
"Hello! We are so excited about the upcoming reunion, and looking forward to seeing everyone. I just wanted to clarify something, there has been some confusion about the event. While we are planning a brief toast during the reunion to celebrate LordL and LadyL's upcoming marriage, the main focus will be our family reunion, as in previous years. This is not a wedding event or bridal shower. Sorry for any confusion, and hope to see you there!"

I know that sounds a bit awkward, can't think of a better way to word it. Honestly though that's the only way that I would consider attending, if it was made clear that it is NOT centered around your wedding, and you are not "guests of honor".

gollymolly2

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #155 on: May 03, 2013, 01:16:01 PM »
I understand where your fiancÚ is coming from.

Given the choice between going to visit a bunch of family members at an organized event, vs visiting them individually, I'd much prefer the former, and it sounds like he does as well.

It has sounded to me throughout this thread that your mil wanted one thing (big party at the reunion), you wanted a totally opposite thing (no party, and now, no reunion). And your future husband has wanted a third thing (toast at the reunion) that is much closer to what his mom wants than what you want.

So it seems like you have drawn boundaries and are arguing with MIL over what the two of you want, but it doesn't seem like you're taking into account what he wants.  Given the relative positions, I can see why he feels like youre coming between him and his family - I see it that way too.

My advice would be to let him handle his family interactions. If he wants to go to the reunion and try to have a toast hosted by his brother, let him try. When it comes to things involving your family or friends, then sure, be more assertive about what it is you want. But if its just his family, let him take the lead and do what he likes.

Lorelei_Evil

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #156 on: May 03, 2013, 01:17:26 PM »
I'd say that the inlaws have a lot of practice in manipulating him right where they want him.  His allegiance should be to you and a separate visit can be planned at another time.

POD.  His parents push his every button because they installed them.  You've lost this particular battle, but if you don't want your MIL running your entire life, you can't lose the war.


POD also to JenJay and GollyMolly2.  His mother, his problem.

Eden

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, another update #90
« Reply #157 on: May 03, 2013, 01:38:46 PM »
I am not sure what is left if we continue to disagree expect tell him that he is free to go to the event on his own but that I am not personally comfortable attending. I know that would hurt him a lot, but again, there is no avoiding hurt in this situation and I feel his loyalty should be to our social unit.

Poor LordL. I do feel bad for him. This is a difficult cycle to break and he's really feeling it now. But I do think if he can't handle it, you control what you can, which is yourself. If you are not in attendance it can't really be a celebration about you as a couple and DH still gets to see the relatives he wishes to see. I'd reiterate even though I know you already have, that you are willing to visit his family, just not on that day, as you both had agreed upon. He is putting you in the position of being the bad guy by waffling on the agreement the two of you had. Let him know you understand the entire situation is messy and unfair, but that you need to be able to rely on him sticking with the agreements the two of you make.

CaffeineKatie

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #158 on: May 03, 2013, 01:42:54 PM »
After 30+ years of marriage to a kind man  who cannot say NO to his family and friends, and always puts our social unit (to borrow OP's phrase) at the bottom of his obligations list, I would suggest, OP, that you think long and hard about the next decades of your life.  I have yet to find a polite way to convince him that we should be allowed to draw boundaries in our life. For example, I have yet to find a polite way to convince his family that they do not have the right to schedule our vacations, because everytime they do he agrees with me to say no, and then gives in to them.  It will not help if you have grown a shiny spine, and he only agrees with you until they have his ear again.  It's very hard to be polite when you know every effort you make will be undermined.

azleaneo

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #159 on: May 03, 2013, 01:43:29 PM »
I would not allow this woman to divide and conquer your relationship. It sounds like your DF is planning to attend with or without you so you can either take a step back from this relationship, or, what I would do? I would say to him...

"Okay babe, you win. We'll go to the reunion/toast/shower/whatever because I can appreciate how important this is to you. I'm done fighting about it. I can see how hurt you are at the prospect of missing this event so I'll go to the whatever-it-is with you, okay? And I'll be smiling and gracious and nobody will ever know there was an issue. I'll do this for YOU.

Here is what I get in return - I'm done. I'm done arguing with your mom. I'm done trying to compromise. I'm done being the bigger person. I'm done feeling like I'm the one putting you in the middle. From now on she is YOUR problem. You will handle it. If we decide something is going to go this or that way and she doesn't like it I do not want to hear about it. I do not care. I'll do this one last thing for you and then you're on your own with her. If you aren't willing to stand next to me when your mom pulls this stuff then you're going to have to learn to stand alone because I WILL be standing up for myself, with or without you, starting the day after the reunion. I have no intention of spending the rest of my life worrying about whether or not she's happy with a decision we've made. If you have a problem with that you should reconsider whether or not you want to marry me."

This is beautiful.

TurtleDove

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, another update #90
« Reply #160 on: May 03, 2013, 01:52:03 PM »
The MIL is not going to go away, and if the OP takes a harsh stance, this could drive a wedge not only between herself and MIL, and her DH and MIL, but between her DH and the OP.  If it were me, I would be less focused on how MIL has wronged me and more focused on how I can foster a positive relationship with MIL.  Unless the DH is willing to completely cut MIL out of his life, the OP is not likely going to reap anything positive from taking a harsh stance and demanding a grovelling apology or anything like that.

Given the update I wanted to reitierate my last post - OP, I think you need to really think about your future here.  If you cannot make nice with MIL (and I am not faulting you for not being able to, just saying that if you cannot) I see a huge wedge driven between you and your DH.  It is very unlikely that he will react well to constantly having to "take sides" between his mother and his wife, and I suspect he will see your attitude as forcing him to do so. 

Again, I am not saying you are wrong for your position, I am just saying that your DH may not be a good fit for you given his inability to put his relationship with you before his relationship with his mother.  And you may not be a good for him given the fact he sees you as forcing him to choose between his mother and you.  It's just not a good or solveable situation because the only person you can control is you and if you don't want to make nice with his mother, there will be constant discontent among all of you. 

I am so sorry this is happening.

Dorrie78

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #161 on: May 03, 2013, 01:54:05 PM »
I understand where your fiancÚ is coming from.

Given the choice between going to visit a bunch of family members at an organized event, vs visiting them individually, I'd much prefer the former, and it sounds like he does as well.

It has sounded to me throughout this thread that your mil wanted one thing (big party at the reunion), you wanted a totally opposite thing (no party, and now, no reunion). And your future husband has wanted a third thing (toast at the reunion) that is much closer to what his mom wants than what you want.

So it seems like you have drawn boundaries and are arguing with MIL over what the two of you want, but it doesn't seem like you're taking into account what he wants.  Given the relative positions, I can see why he feels like youre coming between him and his family - I see it that way too.

My advice would be to let him handle his family interactions. If he wants to go to the reunion and try to have a toast hosted by his brother, let him try. When it comes to things involving your family or friends, then sure, be more assertive about what it is you want. But if its just his family, let him take the lead and do what he likes.
I've been lurking on this thread and been finding myself trying to figure out exactly how to express what I think and I think this post captures it perfectly. I just get this feeling that LordL was told what he thinks about this by LadyL and then he was expected to stand strong against his mother. I do get that a couple need to be united, but with LordL being so wishy-washy about this every time he was confronted by his mother, I can't help but to think that he actually is not opposed to having some sort of an event at the reunion in honor of the upcoming nuptials. If my family were planning a huge reunion that included relatives I hadn't seen in 10 years and I was being told that I can't go because someone is planning a toast to my marriage, I would definitely be taken aback. It is a huge struggle to be in the middle between what appears to me (IMHO) to be a reasonable compromise from the MIL and my DF who is adamant that there will be no recognition of the engagement. I don't envy anybody in this situation and I wholeheartedly endorse JenJay's solution.

MrTango

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #162 on: May 03, 2013, 01:55:12 PM »
I would not allow this woman to divide and conquer your relationship. It sounds like your DF is planning to attend with or without you so you can either take a step back from this relationship, or, what I would do? I would say to him...

"Okay babe, you win. We'll go to the reunion/toast/shower/whatever because I can appreciate how important this is to you. I'm done fighting about it. I can see how hurt you are at the prospect of missing this event so I'll go to the whatever-it-is with you, okay? And I'll be smiling and gracious and nobody will ever know there was an issue. I'll do this for YOU.

Here is what I get in return - I'm done. I'm done arguing with your mom. I'm done trying to compromise. I'm done being the bigger person. I'm done feeling like I'm the one putting you in the middle. From now on she is YOUR problem. You will handle it. If we decide something is going to go this or that way and she doesn't like it I do not want to hear about it. I do not care. I'll do this one last thing for you and then you're on your own with her. If you aren't willing to stand next to me when your mom pulls this stuff then you're going to have to learn to stand alone because I WILL be standing up for myself, with or without you, starting the day after the reunion. I have no intention of spending the rest of my life worrying about whether or not she's happy with a decision we've made. If you have a problem with that you should reconsider whether or not you want to marry me."

Unfortunately, there can be no "One Last Time" with boundary tramplers.  If LadyL is serious about enforcing these boundaries, she needs to stick to her guns and *not* go to the reunion at all.  Otherwise, she's teaching her FMIL that her new tactic of making a non-specific apology will work for FMIL to get her way.

TurtleDove

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #163 on: May 03, 2013, 02:01:38 PM »
Unfortunately, there can be no "One Last Time" with boundary tramplers.  If LadyL is serious about enforcing these boundaries, she needs to stick to her guns and *not* go to the reunion at all.  Otherwise, she's teaching her FMIL that her new tactic of making a non-specific apology will work for FMIL to get her way.

I would say that if LadyL sticks to her guns and does not go to the reunion she will be entering into a marriage with a strong "I don't want to be a part of this family" vibe.  I don't see that being a positive way to start a married life.

LeveeWoman

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #164 on: May 03, 2013, 02:02:09 PM »
I would not allow this woman to divide and conquer your relationship. It sounds like your DF is planning to attend with or without you so you can either take a step back from this relationship, or, what I would do? I would say to him...

"Okay babe, you win. We'll go to the reunion/toast/shower/whatever because I can appreciate how important this is to you. I'm done fighting about it. I can see how hurt you are at the prospect of missing this event so I'll go to the whatever-it-is with you, okay? And I'll be smiling and gracious and nobody will ever know there was an issue. I'll do this for YOU.

Here is what I get in return - I'm done. I'm done arguing with your mom. I'm done trying to compromise. I'm done being the bigger person. I'm done feeling like I'm the one putting you in the middle. From now on she is YOUR problem. You will handle it. If we decide something is going to go this or that way and she doesn't like it I do not want to hear about it. I do not care. I'll do this one last thing for you and then you're on your own with her. If you aren't willing to stand next to me when your mom pulls this stuff then you're going to have to learn to stand alone because I WILL be standing up for myself, with or without you, starting the day after the reunion. I have no intention of spending the rest of my life worrying about whether or not she's happy with a decision we've made. If you have a problem with that you should reconsider whether or not you want to marry me."

Unfortunately, there can be no "One Last Time" with boundary tramplers.  If LadyL is serious about enforcing these boundaries, she needs to stick to her guns and *not* go to the reunion at all. Otherwise, she's teaching her FMIL that her new tactic of making a non-specific apology will work for FMIL to get her way.

Spot on. And, this is teaching her fiancÚ that his future wife's feelings are less important than his mother's.

Begin as you mean to go on.