Author Topic: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151  (Read 41155 times)

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ladyknight1

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #165 on: May 03, 2013, 02:11:20 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.

I park my POD here also.

It took my DH over 10 years to enforce boundaries with his family.

Deetee

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #166 on: May 03, 2013, 02:15:23 PM »
If it was me I would focus on controlling what I could. In this case it would be my actions. After the acts the mother in law has pulled there woul be no chance I would attend the reunion. I would try to be warm and friendly and nice and I would thank mil for her apology but I would never ever ever go to the reunion. I would give my fh my blessing to attend without me.

And I would spend that weekend doing something awoke, do when people asked he can say " oh she's skydiving with sharks this weekend but sends her love."

JenJay

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #167 on: May 03, 2013, 02:18:04 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 understand what you're saying, and I was absolutely in the "don't go!" camp when I thought LordL was firmly with LadyL, but it looks as if he actually isn't. I'm not suggesting LadyL compromise with her future mother-in-law but rather with LordL. He wants to go. If that also happens to look like a compromise with the MIL it's unfortunate but unavoidable.

For the record I think the MIL has been completely out of line with the way she's trampled every boundary/compromise Lord and Lady have tried to set. I do think you can issue a "one last time" ultimatum as long as 1) you haven't already made that stand, and 2) you're prepared to back it up when (not if -when!) it's tested.

gollymolly2

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #168 on: May 03, 2013, 02:24:36 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.

This is the formulation I keep seeing in this thread that is bothering me: LadyL's feelings vs MIL's feelings. As though LordL's feelings are totally unimportant, and the only thing that should matter is LadyL's opinion.

LeveeWoman

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #169 on: May 03, 2013, 02:26:29 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."

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.

This is the formulation I keep seeing in this thread that is bothering me: LadyL's feelings vs MIL's feelings. As though LordL's feelings are totally unimportant, and the only thing that should matter is LadyL's opinion.

He could go, but there is no way in hell I'd go.

Kiara

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #170 on: May 03, 2013, 02:30:24 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.

This is the formulation I keep seeing in this thread that is bothering me: LadyL's feelings vs MIL's feelings. As though LordL's feelings are totally unimportant, and the only thing that should matter is LadyL's opinion.

I think LordL's feelings are important, but they need to be weighed against LadyL's feelings.  MIL's feelings are, in all honesty, unimportant.  She's not part of the immediate social unit.  LordL needs to weigh his feelings of wanting to see relatives against LadyL's feelings of being hurt repeatedly by MIL.  And for how long that situation is going on.   I'm not saying going or not going is the right answer, but a significant step would be LordL sitting down and saying that he hears LadyL, and he understands she's hurt, BUT he really wants to see his relatives all together....how can we accomplish this.

wolfie

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, another update #90
« Reply #171 on: May 03, 2013, 02:36:38 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.

You make it sound like the only reason that there isn't a sunny, wonderful relationship is because LadyL isn't digging in her heels and refuses to play nice. There are some serious issues here and LadyL playing nice isn't going to make them go away - it will just teach her MIL that LadyL's feelings and opinions don't matter. Sometimes standing up for yourself is the only way to prevent a lifetime of hurt and pain.

LadyL - if I were you I would take a step back and take a good long look at your relationship and see if you are happy if this is how it will be the rest of your life. If you don't have a counselor I would get one - it can't hurt to have a neutral third party to talk to.

Grape

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #172 on: May 03, 2013, 02:37:48 PM »
In the current situation, you're damned if you do, damned if you don't as far as whether to attend the reunion.

At this point I would focus on the more important relationship: you and your future hubby. That needs to be strong before you can ever address the MIL issue. I would base your decision on whether to go to the reunion on how your hubby really feels about it and how that will affect you as a couple. It sounds like the reunion may be more important to your future hubby than any "party" aspect of the reunion.

THEN, and more importantly, I would focus on some couples counseling to find ways to discuss things between the two of you and how you can stand together as a couple in the future. You need to each feel that you can express your honest feelings, come to an agreement together, and trust that the other will honor that agreement. A counselor can help give you the tools to do this.

LadyL

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #173 on: May 03, 2013, 02:38:30 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.

This is the formulation I keep seeing in this thread that is bothering me: LadyL's feelings vs MIL's feelings. As though LordL's feelings are totally unimportant, and the only thing that should matter is LadyL's opinion.

 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.

I'm not sure where the idea that I am against recognizing our engagement at the event at all came from. To clarify, LordL and I agreed initially that we were ok with a toast to us at the reunion. I was never opposed to us being recognized at the event. We simply agreed that we did not want to be the guests of honor. He has changed his mind about this a few times while I have not. I have tried to understand his perspective and honestly I think a lot of it is him giving in to the pressure from his family. If anyone is disregarding his feelings, it's his parents, not me.

scansons

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, another update #90
« Reply #174 on: May 03, 2013, 02:40:16 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.

I think this is kind of laugh worthy.  Does he really think that Dad is going to be planning the event, just because he's talking to Dad on the phone?  It seems a lot more likely to me that MIL will still be planning the event, with Dad maybe riding herd on her.  Once she's got you two coming all she has to do is pick up the phone and start calling people to let them know it's not a shower (wink wink, nudge nudge).  In which case you end up right back where you started. 

Also, I'm a little sad that he's trying to emotionally blackmail you back into this. 

I think if I did agree to let Dad plan it, and I did agree to go, it would only be under the condition that if one thing, one single thing happened that we didn't agree to, I was out the door.  Because I don't believe for a second his Dad would be running that show. 

TurtleDove

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, another update #90
« Reply #175 on: May 03, 2013, 02:44:29 PM »
You make it sound like the only reason that there isn't a sunny, wonderful relationship is because LadyL isn't digging in her heels and refuses to play nice.

No, if you read my posts that is not at all what I said.  What I said is that LadyL can only control her own behavior and refusing to play nice could result in driving a wedge between not only LadyL and MIL but also LadyL and her DF.

Eeep!

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, another update #90
« Reply #176 on: May 03, 2013, 02:51:38 PM »
You make it sound like the only reason that there isn't a sunny, wonderful relationship is because LadyL isn't digging in her heels and refuses to play nice.

No, if you read my posts that is not at all what I said.  What I said is that LadyL can only control her own behavior and refusing to play nice could result in driving a wedge between not only LadyL and MIL but also LadyL and her DF.

But the problem with that is that it appears this isn't a one-time issue. It is an ongoing way that MIL behaves. So if it isn't THIS instance that LadyL stands up for herself (which by necessity will result in not "playing nice" with MIL) there will be another time.  If that fact will drive a wedge in between them, then it will. It's just a matter of time.  Better to deal with it before they are actually married, I think.
Now, if LadyL really believes that her DF really does WANT to do this event. I think the Jen-Jay's suggestion might work. As long as it really is an agreement between the two of them, based on the reality of the situation. And he really agrees to the arrangement.  I generally do agree with the Start as you plan to continue way of thinking, but life is full of gray areas.  Perhaps LadyL might decide that postponing this particular fight by one occurrence is worth it.  Only she can make that decision though. 
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

JenJay

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #177 on: May 03, 2013, 02:52:46 PM »
I think LordL's feelings are important, but they need to be weighed against LadyL's feelings.  MIL's feelings are, in all honesty, unimportant.  She's not part of the immediate social unit.  LordL needs to weigh his feelings of wanting to see relatives against LadyL's feelings of being hurt repeatedly by MIL.  And for how long that situation is going on.   I'm not saying going or not going is the right answer, but a significant step would be LordL sitting down and saying that he hears LadyL, and he understands she's hurt, BUT he really wants to see his relatives all together....how can we accomplish this.

I agree. I do feel badly for LordL because he did try to reign his mother in. He told her no shower, agreed to a modest toast, refused to send the requested addresses and did not agree to the "toast" invitations. He did everything he could to create a situation where he and LadyL could go to the reunion and be comfortable. Unfortunately his Mom steamrolled him and sent the invitations anyway, now he's backed into a corner.

I don't appreciate his statement that LadyL is forcing him to choose between her and the family. I feel very strongly that his mother did that and that's who he should be upset with. His comment needs to be addressed and resolved.

**edited because I realized that LadyL actually said that she feels that LordL is feeling this way but he did not say that. I hope she's mistaken and they can work out a solution they're both happy with!
« Last Edit: May 03, 2013, 03:28:00 PM by JenJay »

LeveeWoman

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #178 on: May 03, 2013, 02:54:29 PM »
I think LordL's feelings are important, but they need to be weighed against LadyL's feelings.  MIL's feelings are, in all honesty, unimportant.  She's not part of the immediate social unit.  LordL needs to weigh his feelings of wanting to see relatives against LadyL's feelings of being hurt repeatedly by MIL.  And for how long that situation is going on.   I'm not saying going or not going is the right answer, but a significant step would be LordL sitting down and saying that he hears LadyL, and he understands she's hurt, BUT he really wants to see his relatives all together....how can we accomplish this.

I agree. I do feel badly for LordL because he did try to reign his mother in. He told her no shower, agreed to a modest toast, refused to send the requested addresses and did not agree to the "toast" invitations. He did everything he could to create a situation where he and LadyL could go to the reunion and be comfortable. Unfortunately his Mom steamrolled him and sent the invitations anyway, now he's backed into a corner.

I don't appreciate his statement that LadyL is forcing him to choose between her and the family. I feel very strongly that his mother did that and that's who he should be upset with. His comment needs to be addressed and resolved.

He's putting himself in the middle.

JenJay

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #179 on: May 03, 2013, 03:01:40 PM »
I think LordL's feelings are important, but they need to be weighed against LadyL's feelings.  MIL's feelings are, in all honesty, unimportant.  She's not part of the immediate social unit.  LordL needs to weigh his feelings of wanting to see relatives against LadyL's feelings of being hurt repeatedly by MIL.  And for how long that situation is going on.   I'm not saying going or not going is the right answer, but a significant step would be LordL sitting down and saying that he hears LadyL, and he understands she's hurt, BUT he really wants to see his relatives all together....how can we accomplish this.

I agree. I do feel badly for LordL because he did try to reign his mother in. He told her no shower, agreed to a modest toast, refused to send the requested addresses and did not agree to the "toast" invitations. He did everything he could to create a situation where he and LadyL could go to the reunion and be comfortable. Unfortunately his Mom steamrolled him and sent the invitations anyway, now he's backed into a corner.

I don't appreciate his statement that LadyL is forcing him to choose between her and the family. I feel very strongly that his mother did that and that's who he should be upset with. His comment needs to be addressed and resolved.

He's putting himself in the middle.

Absolutely!

LadyL, you need to point that out. This was never about trying to make him choose between you and the extended family. You wanted him to help establish a few boundaries with his mom, regarding your wedding. His mom is the one who is bucking and he is the one who is waffling. You've remained firm but willing to compromise to a reasonable extent the entire time. She's created this "my way or no way" scenario.