Author Topic: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151  (Read 38318 times)

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Roe

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #180 on: May 03, 2013, 03:03:11 PM »
Since this means the world to him, what I would do is encourage him to go to the reunion alone

This way, he gets to see his relatives but you don't give in to MIL's schemes and there's no way there can be a bridal shower without the bride. 

scansons

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #181 on: May 03, 2013, 03:04:26 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."

I agree with JenJay on this, but only if you actually got an apology from MIL.  Which is to say, it doesn't count FIL apologizing for them both.  If you've actually got an apology from her, that is something you could maybe build on.  But the way I read it FIL did the apologizing.  Which doesn't fly for me.

NyaChan

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #182 on: May 03, 2013, 03:06:30 PM »
I'd encourage him to attend and stay home myself.  I'd also word it very carefully, as in - I know how important this is to you and I would hate for you to miss out on seeing your family.  I am not comfortable with the party arrangements myself as I've said from the start, but that doesn't mean that you can't go on your own. 

I'd also look into counseling to do a reassessment or a temperature check on how things will work from now on, because it would suck to have this repeat over and over again for a lifetime.

TurtleDove

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #183 on: May 03, 2013, 03:11:52 PM »
I'd also look into counseling to do a reassessment or a temperature check on how things will work from now on, because it would suck to have this repeat over and over again for a lifetime.

POD.  It would be great if LadyL could control her DF or her MIL, but she cannot.  Whether LadyL is right or justified in her position (I happen to think she is justified, FWIW) is not important when it comes down to it if her main goal is a happy marriage.  It seems that her DF is very uncomfortable standing up to his mother, and the more LadyL stands up for herself (whether justified or not), the more uncomfortable DF becomes and the more the relationships toxify (including the one between LadyL and DF).  I don't see this relationship going smoothly at all unless LadyL changes her approach to a softer one trying to work with, rather than against, MIL.  Again, this is not because LadyL is wrong in how she has approached it thus far but rather because the ONLY person LadyL can control is herself.  LadyL's efforts so far have done nothing but harm her relationship with her MIL and with her DF, not because her efforts are wrong or not justified but because she CANNOT control her DF or her MIL.

Firecat

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #184 on: May 03, 2013, 03:12:45 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.

I was trying to put my finger on what was bothering me about this whole thing, and the bolded is it exactly. To me, that is LordL exhibiting the exact same manipulative behavior as his mother. To me, that's almost more troubling than the original situation.

QueenfaninCA

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #185 on: May 03, 2013, 03:15:25 PM »
I'm wondering if you can enlist the help of the rest of the family. I wouldn't be too thrilled if my annual family reunion suddenly has been turned into a wedding shower for someone if we have never done that before. LadyL, I would insist on MIL calling all other families while either LordL or you are present and informing them that the invite was in error and that it will actually be the usual reunion with just a toast to the happy couple. I would then follow up with a phone call by LordL a few days later to the same people to get everyone to understand that if MIL tries to turn this into a shower LordL and LadyL will immediately leave the event as they want to attend a reunion and not a shower. That way some other family members might assist in reigning in MIL.

NyaChan

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #186 on: May 03, 2013, 03:15:50 PM »
I'd also look into counseling to do a reassessment or a temperature check on how things will work from now on, because it would suck to have this repeat over and over again for a lifetime.

POD.  It would be great if LadyL could control her DF or her MIL, but she cannot.  Whether LadyL is right or justified in her position (I happen to think she is justified, FWIW) is not important when it comes down to it if her main goal is a happy marriage.  It seems that her DF is very uncomfortable standing up to his mother, and the more LadyL stands up for herself (whether justified or not), the more uncomfortable DF becomes and the more the relationships toxify (including the one between LadyL and DF).  I don't see this relationship going smoothly at all unless LadyL changes her approach to a softer one trying to work with, rather than against, MIL.  Again, this is not because LadyL is wrong in how she has approached it thus far but rather because the ONLY person LadyL can control is herself.  LadyL's efforts so far have done nothing but harm her relationship with her MIL and with her DF, not because her efforts are wrong or not justified but because she CANNOT control her DF or her MIL.

I think this raises a good point.  Life doesn't always work out to a level of fairness or right that we would want.  And sometimes, it is worth it to give more than is required for certain people.  I can set boundaries if I want to, but for some people, I choose not to because for me, they are a net gain even if in certain areas they are making things more difficult for me.  I'd imagine since LadyL is engaged and through other posts seems to have a loving relationship with LordL that he might be a net gain for her in spite of this if she (and he) learn ways to cope.

QueenfaninCA

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #187 on: May 03, 2013, 03:18:41 PM »
I'd also look into counseling to do a reassessment or a temperature check on how things will work from now on, because it would suck to have this repeat over and over again for a lifetime.

POD.  It would be great if LadyL could control her DF or her MIL, but she cannot.  Whether LadyL is right or justified in her position (I happen to think she is justified, FWIW) is not important when it comes down to it if her main goal is a happy marriage.  It seems that her DF is very uncomfortable standing up to his mother, and the more LadyL stands up for herself (whether justified or not), the more uncomfortable DF becomes and the more the relationships toxify (including the one between LadyL and DF).  I don't see this relationship going smoothly at all unless LadyL changes her approach to a softer one trying to work with, rather than against, MIL.  Again, this is not because LadyL is wrong in how she has approached it thus far but rather because the ONLY person LadyL can control is herself.  LadyL's efforts so far have done nothing but harm her relationship with her MIL and with her DF, not because her efforts are wrong or not justified but because she CANNOT control her DF or her MIL.

That way the relationship might go smoothly, but they would always do what MIL wants and never what LadyL wants. What type of relationship is that? Definitely not an equal marriage in my eyes.

JenJay

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #188 on: May 03, 2013, 03:23:37 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.

I was trying to put my finger on what was bothering me about this whole thing, and the bolded is it exactly. To me, that is LordL exhibiting the exact same manipulative behavior as his mother. To me, that's almost more troubling than the original situation.

To be fair I've re-read the update since posting and LadyL said she feels like he's insinuating that, but he didn't actually say it. Hopefully she's mistaken! I'll edit my post so I don't create any accidental uproar on her behalf.  ;)

Firecat

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #189 on: May 03, 2013, 03:30:16 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.

I was trying to put my finger on what was bothering me about this whole thing, and the bolded is it exactly. To me, that is LordL exhibiting the exact same manipulative behavior as his mother. To me, that's almost more troubling than the original situation.

To be fair I've re-read the update since posting and LadyL said she feels like he's insinuating that, but he didn't actually say it. Hopefully she's mistaken! I'll edit my post so I don't create any accidental uproar on her behalf.  ;)

Actually, in some ways, I think insinuating it is almost worse than just saying it. Because then, not only does LordL get to indignantly deny that it's what he meant if called on it, he also gets to pull the "how could you possibly think that". And if LadyL doesn't engage on the topic, LordL gets to play the martyr because LadyL is the one who "made him choose." Either way, he wins.

Kind of like when he didn't want to stand up for her with his family, but expected her to happily be a shield between him and his family.

But I freely admit that this sort of thing is on the list of behaviors that gets me from calm to livid in .0001 seconds. LadyL may or may not feel the same way.

Eeep!

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #190 on: May 03, 2013, 03:30:39 PM »
I'd also look into counseling to do a reassessment or a temperature check on how things will work from now on, because it would suck to have this repeat over and over again for a lifetime.

POD.  It would be great if LadyL could control her DF or her MIL, but she cannot.  Whether LadyL is right or justified in her position (I happen to think she is justified, FWIW) is not important when it comes down to it if her main goal is a happy marriage.  It seems that her DF is very uncomfortable standing up to his mother, and the more LadyL stands up for herself (whether justified or not), the more uncomfortable DF becomes and the more the relationships toxify (including the one between LadyL and DF).  I don't see this relationship going smoothly at all unless LadyL changes her approach to a softer one trying to work with, rather than against, MIL.  Again, this is not because LadyL is wrong in how she has approached it thus far but rather because the ONLY person LadyL can control is herself.  LadyL's efforts so far have done nothing but harm her relationship with her MIL and with her DF, not because her efforts are wrong or not justified but because she CANNOT control her DF or her MIL.

That way the relationship might go smoothly, but they would always do what MIL wants and never what LadyL wants. What type of relationship is that? Definitely not an equal marriage in my eyes.

I agree with this. There is little to no way that the bolded above is actually going to end up in a happy marriage (because MIL is a boundary-stomper).  It will most likely end up as one where LadyL is resentful for the fact that she has put her desires beneath MIL's.  Now, there are times where one might decide not to press an issue - the old "hill to die on" routine - but unless LadyL can feel confidently that when push comes to shove, DF will have HER back then it's not a balanced marriage.  I understand the point that one can only change one's own behavior.  But this is a relationship, which involves TWO people.  If the other person is not willing to change THEIRS then decisions need to be made based on that fact.  Not on the actions of a third party.

Edited to further clarify what I was saying. Sorry!
« Last Edit: May 03, 2013, 03:33:44 PM by Eeep! »
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Firecat

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #191 on: May 03, 2013, 03:32:36 PM »
I'd also look into counseling to do a reassessment or a temperature check on how things will work from now on, because it would suck to have this repeat over and over again for a lifetime.

POD.  It would be great if LadyL could control her DF or her MIL, but she cannot.  Whether LadyL is right or justified in her position (I happen to think she is justified, FWIW) is not important when it comes down to it if her main goal is a happy marriage.  It seems that her DF is very uncomfortable standing up to his mother, and the more LadyL stands up for herself (whether justified or not), the more uncomfortable DF becomes and the more the relationships toxify (including the one between LadyL and DF).  I don't see this relationship going smoothly at all unless LadyL changes her approach to a softer one trying to work with, rather than against, MIL.  Again, this is not because LadyL is wrong in how she has approached it thus far but rather because the ONLY person LadyL can control is herself.  LadyL's efforts so far have done nothing but harm her relationship with her MIL and with her DF, not because her efforts are wrong or not justified but because she CANNOT control her DF or her MIL.

That way the relationship might go smoothly, but they would always do what MIL wants and never what LadyL wants. What type of relationship is that? Definitely not an equal marriage in my eyes.

More like one involving three people - LadyL, LordL, and LordL's mother...nothing wrong with a marriage involving more than two people, so long as everyone involved wants it that way...but the third person being LordL's mother is what makes it weird and unhealthy to me.

TurtleDove

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #192 on: May 03, 2013, 03:41:06 PM »
That way the relationship might go smoothly, but they would always do what MIL wants and never what LadyL wants. What type of relationship is that? Definitely not an equal marriage in my eyes.

I wrote a reply but it didn't post for some reason so I will try to write it out again.

I agree it would not be an equal marriage.  It would not be a marriage I would be happy in at all, but I also would be very unhappy in a marriage where I am constantly battling both my MIL and my DF.  If it were me, I know what I would do (not marry DF because of the way his relationship with his mother negatively impacts his relationship with me) but I am not LadyL, and I suspect she truly does want to marry her DF. 

If LadyL intends to go forward with the marriage, she can choose the hard way (standing her ground, constant battling with MIL and with DF) or the easier way (swallowing her pride and appeasing MIL so that her life with DF goes more smoothly).  Neither choice sounds appealing to me at all, which is why, if it were me, I would call off the marriage. 

But since LadyL DOES want to marry her DF (and I am not at all faulting her for that, I just know I would not be able to handle these particular dynamics) she has a choice to make: 1) stand up for herself knowing that she is unlikely to ever see positive change from either MIL or her DF and will be constantly battling them, or 2) appease MIL and DF and silently seethe, or 3) just let it all go and recognize that she cannot control her DF or her MIL so it is best to comport herself to rock the boat the least.

JenJay

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #193 on: May 03, 2013, 03:44:23 PM »
I didn't take TurtleDove's post as saying that LadyL should compromise with her MIl, only that it might be the only way she and LordL will be able to have a smooth marriage. Not that this would necessarily be a good thing, but something LadyL should be aware of.  :-\

And as I was posting she clarified, so yeah. That.


Lexophile

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #194 on: May 03, 2013, 03:53:12 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.

I was trying to put my finger on what was bothering me about this whole thing, and the bolded is it exactly. To me, that is LordL exhibiting the exact same manipulative behavior as his mother. To me, that's almost more troubling than the original situation.

To be fair I've re-read the update since posting and LadyL said she feels like he's insinuating that, but he didn't actually say it. Hopefully she's mistaken! I'll edit my post so I don't create any accidental uproar on her behalf.  ;)

Actually, in some ways, I think insinuating it is almost worse than just saying it. Because then, not only does LordL get to indignantly deny that it's what he meant if called on it, he also gets to pull the "how could you possibly think that". And if LadyL doesn't engage on the topic, LordL gets to play the martyr because LadyL is the one who "made him choose." Either way, he wins.

Kind of like when he didn't want to stand up for her with his family, but expected her to happily be a shield between him and his family.

But I freely admit that this sort of thing is on the list of behaviors that gets me from calm to livid in .0001 seconds. LadyL may or may not feel the same way.

I think FireCat hit the nail on the head here. I'm reading through these posts and everyone seems to be interpreting what LordL really wants, but I can't find anywhere where he actually makes any kind of statement about how he wants this to go down.

Good googly-moogly. If he wants to go to the reunion, whether they do a shower or not, he needs to speak up and say so. LadyL is the one left not knowing what the heck is going on when he's vacillating between going to the reunion and seeing his relatives and drawing a line in the sand with his mother and enforcing the boundary. There are two different issues here.

His actions demonstrate that he doesn't care whether his mother does a shower for them or not. Unfortunately, LadyL DOES care. They need to work that out first. If it turns out they both want different things, they need to work together to figure out what's best for the two of them. MIL's drama shouldn't factor into it at all.
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