Author Topic: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151  (Read 39186 times)

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Miss Unleaded

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #195 on: May 03, 2013, 04:32:04 PM »
LadyL I really sympathise.  Before I married I faced a similar situation, and it was so stressful that I actually issued the first and only ultimatum I ever gave my now husband, which was: if you're not on my side, I'm leaving now.

I really get the feeling that you have a long slog ahead of you if you want to retain your boundaries and independence with your in laws and that's going to be a hundred times harder if you're fighting against your husband as well as your MIL. :(  Personally, I would (and was) be prepared to have to walk away from the relationship because this interference would guarantee a life time of misery for me at least. 

I sincerely hope it works out for you.

wonderfullyanonymous

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #196 on: May 03, 2013, 04:45:15 PM »
LadyL I really sympathise.  Before I married I faced a similar situation, and it was so stressful that I actually issued the first and only ultimatum I ever gave my now husband, which was: if you're not on my side, I'm leaving now.

I really get the feeling that you have a long slog ahead of you if you want to retain your boundaries and independence with your in laws and that's going to be a hundred times harder if you're fighting against your husband as well as your MIL. :(  Personally, I would (and was) be prepared to have to walk away from the relationship because this interference would guarantee a life time of misery for me at least. 

I sincerely hope it works out for you.

I tend to agree with Miss Unleaded on this. You and DF are going to be a family unit, and if he is not going to stand up to his DM you will be LadyL married to LordL and LordL's mother.

I know that if she gets and inch on this, she will take the mile for the rest of her life as she can get it. What will come next, her wanting to vacation with you, be in the delivery room while you have babies?

I think you should have LordL sit down and read all the replies and experiences of the others in this thread. It may be the only way it really sinks into his head how his mother is trying to make it about her, rather than considering the feelings of the two of you. It won't be easy, but he really needs to realize how damaging to your relationship her actions really are.

Need to Change

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #197 on: May 03, 2013, 04:49:55 PM »
I suspect LordL never knew what he wanted, still doesn't and, at least -- in regard to this event -- never will.  That would be a natural response to lifelong manipulation. 

If that is true, he will tend -- in total honesty -- to "want" whatever the last person he talked to wants.  Sadly, instead of pleasing everyone, he'll tend to disappoint everyone.  Until he can make a change -- and even with his own best efforts, that will take some time -- his loyalties will always be weak, and his reliability questionable.

Perhaps the best Next Talk with LordL (before or after the event) would be about his wishes alone ... to help him identify his own wishes, if nothing else.  Actually, I suspect it would be a series of talks, over a goodly span of time, as new events and issues occur. 

As for this event ... in your place, I would tend to encourage him to go alone.  To avoid roping bystanders into the fray, I might also concoct some social fiction about a workplace emergency or somesuch.

PastryGoddess

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #198 on: May 03, 2013, 05:43:17 PM »
It seems interesting that after 10+ years, these people that LordL wants to see are going to be at the reunion.  Was it a coincidence that you were planning to get married and they decided to come?  Or were they invited and prodded to come specifically because you and LordL were getting married?

Also how many people is it that he wants to see?  A whole side of the family? or just a few people.  Is the family going to be gathering in a central location each day or are there going to be various places everyone is hanging out and meeting.

LordL and LadyL can absolutely make plans to see these very special people on their own and without being part of the main family reunion.  It will just take more planning to find out where they are staying and to surprise them with a visit.

It seems that for LordL this may be less about "seeing the family" and more about how uncomfortable it is to stand up against pressure from family for the first time.  I think the family reunion is a red herring and an excuse for LordL to justify WHY he is upset.  The family reunion is a built in reason for why he's giving in.  But I wonder if he's feeling conflicted over standing up to his mother/parents and wasn't prepared for how difficult it is.  Remember LordL has been dealing with his mothers behavior for most of his life.  Now his fiance has come in like a cold dash of water and said "Hey, this isn't right".  He may agree with her in theory, but until he learns that it's ok to have an opinion of his own and stick to it, he'll be conflicted.  Hopefully LadyL will continue to support him and reinforce that he's allowed to disagree with his mother/FOO and that the world won't end (I think she is, but its an ongoing process)

Firecat

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #199 on: May 03, 2013, 06:20:10 PM »
It seems interesting that after 10+ years, these people that LordL wants to see are going to be at the reunion.  Was it a coincidence that you were planning to get married and they decided to come?  Or were they invited and prodded to come specifically because you and LordL were getting married?

Also how many people is it that he wants to see?  A whole side of the family? or just a few people.  Is the family going to be gathering in a central location each day or are there going to be various places everyone is hanging out and meeting.

LordL and LadyL can absolutely make plans to see these very special people on their own and without being part of the main family reunion.  It will just take more planning to find out where they are staying and to surprise them with a visit.

It seems that for LordL this may be less about "seeing the family" and more about how uncomfortable it is to stand up against pressure from family for the first time.  I think the family reunion is a red herring and an excuse for LordL to justify WHY he is upset.  The family reunion is a built in reason for why he's giving in.  But I wonder if he's feeling conflicted over standing up to his mother/parents and wasn't prepared for how difficult it is.  Remember LordL has been dealing with his mothers behavior for most of his life.  Now his fiance has come in like a cold dash of water and said "Hey, this isn't right".  He may agree with her in theory, but until he learns that it's ok to have an opinion of his own and stick to it, he'll be conflicted.  Hopefully LadyL will continue to support him and reinforce that he's allowed to disagree with his mother/FOO and that the world won't end (I think she is, but its an ongoing process)

I think this is an excellent point. For LordL, dealing with his mother's manipulations, or not, as the case may be, has been "normal" for quite a long time. And even when you know it's not right, or how things should be, it's still really uncomfortable to change "normal" for "something else." Even when "something else" is way better, and the person trying to change KNOWS it's better and wants the change. That's part of why breaking toxic patterns is so difficult.

wheeitsme

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #200 on: May 03, 2013, 06:29:58 PM »
I agree with the posters that if there must be a compromise, then LordL can go and see the people he wants to and LadyL stays home.

And I don't see this as spite. 

MIL is being manipulative.  They can't recall the invites.  That's why MIL lied and sent them out in the first place.  If only LordL goes, then he gets to see the folks he wants to, but it will still be clear that MIL overstepped her boundaries and did something very wrong.  And that MIL doesn't get what she wants over what she promised her child.    A "plus" to this is that LordL will be at the party so that when the question of the invites comes up, and the missing LadyL, he can be honest and make it clear exactly what happened.  This will only work, however, as long as LordL is willing to stand up for LadyL at the event.

Dr. F.

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #201 on: May 03, 2013, 06:49:30 PM »
Personally, I suspect that the posters thinking that Lord L doesn't know what he wants and is trying to keep both women in his life happy are probably right. I have yet to see any indication throughout this saga that he has expressed an independent opinion.

I think this has moved beyond etiquette and is well into relationship issues. I don't think another talk with Lord L will help Lady L, at least without some professional help. I would strongly recommend couples counseling and, quite possibly, therapy for Lord L individually to help him figure out what it is HE wants.*

*N.B. Not meant to be a diagnosis in any form, merely a suggestion that an informed outside opinion might be useful.

Figgie

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #202 on: May 03, 2013, 07:12:26 PM »
A very wise person told me once that people show you all the time who they are and that you should believe them. 

I know that if my spouse had not set limits with his parents,  I would not still be married to him.  Fortunately, his parents weren't toxic...just over-involved and once he enforced boundaries a few times, they realized he was serious and we didn't have any other problems with them.

Iris

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #203 on: May 03, 2013, 08:28:36 PM »
Let me see if I've got this straight;

1. MIL proposes that she hold a shower for you at the reunion. You discuss it and *as a couple* decide for many reasons (not the least of which is that it is rude, rude, rude) you don't want that. However an informal toast is fine.

2. You inform MIL of your decision but then realise that she is going ahead and planning it anyway.

3. You re-inform MIL of your decision and she lies to your face about not having sent invitations. When called on this she gets her husband to apologise for her and then sends a two word non-apology to you on facebook. Except even while sending that 'apology' she is still working on LordL to get exactly what she wants.

4. Now LordL wants you to give her exactly what she wants because she has made the 'compromise' of letting FIL have the nominal credit of organising the exact party that you *as a couple* said no to in the first place. Since apparently LordL has the awareness of a new born kitten when it comes to his parents, he thinks that this is a genuine sacrifice rather than naked selfishness dressed in a bow, and so you're now the bad guy for not accepting MIL's noble compromise.

Please, as one former MIL-victim to another, do NOT go to this shower. I agree with earlier posters that a wedge is being driven between you and LordL over this. However, I think that playing nice and going to the reunion will just change it from being a visible wedge as it is now, to being an invisible wedge, as you sit, fake smile plastered on, seething inside as MIL gets to play Queen for a Day. Sure, LordL will be happy and you will no longer be arguing but personally that would make me lose a lot of respect for my future partner if that was his preference.

Honestly, I agree that this is a relationship issue now and etiquette is irrelevant. How you deal with it completely depends on your type of relationship and how you communicate. Personally, - and the disclaimer is that this is not relationship advice, it's just how MY relationship works - I would be spelling it all out in one last "Come to Deity" talk consisting of outlining very clearly as above EXACTLY how things have gone down, refusing to accept ANY responsibility for LordL's discomfort and so on. Because honestly if he is going to agree to something with you, say he wants help enforcing boundaries with his mom, and then stab you in the back the instant mom is even a little bit unhappy, then ... well then you have to decide if you can deal with a lifetime of that. At the moment LordL doesn't have your back, and that's not okay imo.
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WillyNilly

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #204 on: May 03, 2013, 08:51:51 PM »
In the last 10 years these people have not cared enough about DF to make any effort to see him, and he had not made the effort to see them.

No matter whats going on with FMIL, trust and believe these people are not going to bring a gift (or if they do it will the smallest of token gifts). Chances are, much like for the last 10 years, they will just not attend.

So really unless you have absolute evidence of their attendance, basing your attendance on these relatives LordL hasn't seen in 10 years and now suddenly desperately wants to see, is just ridiculous.

LadyR

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #205 on: May 03, 2013, 09:31:57 PM »
In the last 10 years these people have not cared enough about DF to make any effort to see him, and he had not made the effort to see them.

No matter whats going on with FMIL, trust and believe these people are not going to bring a gift (or if they do it will the smallest of token gifts). Chances are, much like for the last 10 years, they will just not attend.

So really unless you have absolute evidence of their attendance, basing your attendance on these relatives LordL hasn't seen in 10 years and now suddenly desperately wants to see, is just ridiculous.

That seems unfair. I have relatives I care deeply about, but haven't seen in years. We have family sprad out all across North America and travel between coasts is expensive and doesn't happen often. When I got married though, some of these relatives made the effort and came to my province for the first time in years.

I have a gf who's family is all on the East coast, so she rarely sees them, some of them it is only every 5 years at the big family reunion, but man of them will be making the trip for her wedding this summer. So I think its unfair to say LordL's family doesn't want to celebrate with him.


LadyL

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #206 on: May 03, 2013, 09:39:26 PM »
Man, this has been exhausting.

So apparently after more thought LordL is fine with enforcing the original boundaries. I'm glad. I am trying to get some sort of code word approved for "you are being horribly fleeced by your dysfunctional family" that I can just yell REALLY LOUD next time and he will listen and we don't need to have 20 conversations about how and why it's dysfunctional before he begrudgingly agrees. But I know it's not going to be that easy and am keeping an open mind about couples therapy if it isn't at least a bit easier next time.


Iris

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #207 on: May 03, 2013, 09:42:29 PM »
Man, this has been exhausting.

So apparently after more thought LordL is fine with enforcing the original boundaries. I'm glad. I am trying to get some sort of code word approved for "you are being horribly fleeced by your dysfunctional family" that I can just yell REALLY LOUD next time and he will listen and we don't need to have 20 conversations about how and why it's dysfunctional before he begrudgingly agrees. But I know it's not going to be that easy and am keeping an open mind about couples therapy if it isn't at least a bit easier next time.

You poor thing. Sending you a virtual beverage of your choice, some yummy chocolates, and a shiny gold star for having the patience to help LordL work it out the long way.
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Dr. F.

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #208 on: May 03, 2013, 09:42:49 PM »
Excellent update! I am relieved. It sounds like he's listening to you. This is very hopeful.

I wish you both the very best. There will be awkward situations to come, but so long as you can communicate, you should be able to deal.

Surianne

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Re: How to stop the escalation? Final implosion #59, updates #90, #151
« Reply #209 on: May 03, 2013, 09:43:40 PM »
I am trying to get some sort of code word approved for "you are being horribly fleeced by your dysfunctional family" that I can just yell REALLY LOUD next time and he will listen and we don't need to have 20 conversations about how and why it's dysfunctional before he begrudgingly agrees. But I know it's not going to be that easy and am keeping an open mind about couples therapy if it isn't at least a bit easier next time.

Yes, I think learning to talk to him about this is a better idea for having a code word you yell when you're displeased.  It's his life too, and he clearly loves his family, even though you think they're dysfunctional.  If his "spine" is only to enforce what you, personally, want, it's not truly standing up for himself, and it's not going to work well in the long run.