Author Topic: S/O: MIL redecorating....SIL and boundary trampling  (Read 22854 times)

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BarensMom

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Re: S/O: MIL redecorating....SIL and boundary trampling
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2013, 12:22:46 PM »

...every time I try to discuss this issue with DH, he says “it’s just plants”. 


So, DH, what you're saying is that it's okay for me to go over to MIL's and pull up and throw away her rosebushes/lilies/cut down her tree, because "it's just plants"?

Phrase it this way, "DH, are you saying it would be okay for my family member to come over and destroy your golf clubs (Rolex, car, other valuable thing)?  After all, they're only golf clubs (or whatever). 

My mother and sister placed those plants to commemorate the fact that I survived a difficult and dangerous time in my life.  I had a kidney transplant - not a hangnail, and those plants were important to me.  Your sister tore those plants out of my yard without permission.  In doing so, she not only destroyed my mother and sister's hard work, but disrespected the suffering I've been through."

I've tried to go along with your family's shenanigans for the past several years while dealing with my own serious health issues, and this is how I'm rewarded.  It stops now.  You took vows to forsake all others and cleave only to me, so it's time for you to man up and support your wife."

...or something like that.

gramma dishes

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Re: S/O: MIL redecorating....SIL and boundary trampling
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2013, 12:22:53 PM »


,,,   It would have to be something more along the lines of "I threw out these family pictures because I didn't know the people in them and besides, they were just cluttering up the place anyhow".

That's actually a very good analogy.  They (including your husband) need to understand that what THEY might consider important is not necessarily what YOU consider important and vice versa.  The thing is you leave their stuff at their house alone because you know it's important to them.  They need to show your stuff at your house the same respect.

cwm

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Re: S/O: MIL redecorating....SIL and boundary trampling
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2013, 12:26:37 PM »
You could maybe try sitting down with DH and explaining that it's not just about the plants.

"DH, the plants are a symptom of a larger problem. For the past 10 years, I have tried very hard to put up with your family, in the hopes of making your life more peaceful. But the plants are the final straw.

"When you say to me, 'It's just plants,' what I hear is that the gift my mother and sister gave to me at a time when I was very ill isn't important. What I hear is that I have no say in what plants are in my yard. What I hear is that you don't care that I am upset by the loss of this gift. What I hear is that you would rather keep your family happy than keep me happy. What I hear is that I have no say in this house and this yard, which I have worked for and helped to pay for and which is not theirs, but mine and yours. What I hear is that the opinions of your family, about my behavior, about trimming our trees, about everything, is more important than my opinion. What I hear is that *I* am not at all important to you.

"I need you to hear this: I am not happy. I haven't been happy for a long time. And I am not going to put up with this behavior from your family anymore."

THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS!!!

Thanks everyone, I appreciate your comments very much. 

I agree that DH needs to step up and be willing to confront his family.  However, the avoidance behavior is entrenched for him and will take quite a bit of serious counseling for him to shed. 

However, I also have a role to play here.  I've spent the last 10 years sublimating my wants and feelings around his family for the sake of "fitting in" and I'm done.  I did step a toe in this water last night when I told my MIL that I wanted an apology directly from SIL and that the plants were planted by my mom and aunt and I can't get those back.  She dropped the topic after that but the look on her face told me everything I needed to know...that she didn't appreciate that I didn't back down. 

Guess she's going to not appreciate a lot of things from now on.  Oh well.

The bolded should be the official motto stitched into the cloth that everyone uses to polish their spine!  ;D

Also, this.

Seriously, if your DH won't back you up in the management of your yard on your property that you two jointly own, do you trust him to back you up in other situations? It's time to polish that shiny spine and start standing up for yourself. And if the ILs don't like it or get disappointed, it's not your fault. They expect you to back down, and when they stop getting their way all the time either they'll change or they'll become distant. Hopefully they change.

*inviteseller

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Re: S/O: MIL redecorating....SIL and boundary trampling
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2013, 12:36:30 PM »
The most freeing moment for me was when I decided to no longer care what my MIL thought of me and that I was going to quit trying to bow and scrape to her like she was the queen.  What she was was a female dog who had no idea that her kids were having separate lives that did not need her interference.  And good luck getting your husband to come over from the dark side..remember, they have been brain washed since birth by these people, so don't expect results over night.

heartmug

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Re: S/O: MIL redecorating....SIL and boundary trampling
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2013, 12:41:13 PM »
The most freeing moment for me was when I decided to no longer care what my MIL thought of me

Me also.  When I woke up and realized my MIL did not care about my feelings, my wants, or my needs, I stopped trying.  It took awhile, but my DH is fully supportive of me now.

I too have a yard, sounds like their's, with little to no landscaping.  Don't really like gardening, though I am trying out a rose bush now.  But I would NEVER expect any family member to have their yard the same way as mine.
The trouble is not that the world is full of fools, it's just that lightening isn't distributed right.  - Mark Twain

wheeitsme

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Re: S/O: MIL redecorating....SIL and boundary trampling
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2013, 01:09:39 PM »


,,,   It would have to be something more along the lines of "I threw out these family pictures because I didn't know the people in them and besides, they were just cluttering up the place anyhow".

That's actually a very good analogy.  They (including your husband) need to understand that what THEY might consider important is not necessarily what YOU consider important and vice versa.  The thing is you leave their stuff at their house alone because you know it's important to them.  They need to show your stuff at your house the same respect.

This.

"DH - for whatever reason, do you understand that those "just plants" were mine? And that I cared about them? Is it okay for me to go over to SIL's or MIL's and destroy something of theirs because I don't care about it or don't value it?"  "And DH, here's an interesting question.  Is it okay for someone to destroy someone else's things as long as you are related to that person? Does that mean that you have more respect and concern for strangers than for family?"

Baby Snakes

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Re: S/O: MIL redecorating....SIL and boundary trampling
« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2013, 01:18:48 PM »
The most freeing moment for me was when I decided to no longer care what my MIL thought of me and that I was going to quit trying to bow and scrape to her like she was the queen.  What she was was a female dog who had no idea that her kids were having separate lives that did not need her interference.  And good luck getting your husband to come over from the dark side..remember, they have been brain washed since birth by these people, so don't expect results over night.

Aaaaaand, this is why I no longer have a realtionship with my SIL (my MIL and FIL are both deceased).  She has never once apologized for any of the rotten things she has said and done over the years.  It's always "oh, I didn't realize" which is complete BS, so I dialed way back on dealing with her and when we do have to be together I am as fake nice as I can be!

weeblewobble

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Re: S/O: MIL redecorating....SIL and boundary trampling
« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2013, 01:23:08 PM »
DH is playing Switzerland.  He's had it with his family as well for other reasons but he won't actually call them out on their behavior towards him.  So he agrees with me as long as I keep it about boundaries and not the plants themselves, but then he won't back me up with his family other than to placate me by saying that we don't see them that often anyhow.   

You are not wrong to feel how you feel.
I agree that SIL should apologize, and not send it half-heartedly via MIL. However, I agree with you that you probably won't get one.
I'm not sure there's anything you can do to make people understand a particular point of view. Is your DH supporting you? What is he saying to his family? Because if he's saying anything that minimizes your point of view, you're sunk.

You might point out that this puts you in the exceedingly carpy position of the tension being your "fault."  DH is angry with his family, but refuses to speak up about it, making it your job to stand up for you AND him. And when you do speak up, it gives his family the impression that all objections are coming from you.  This is two-fold unfair as 1) you take all of the heat during any confrontation and 2) they can pretend that the tension isn't THEIR fault, everything would be OK if it wasn't for mean old cattlekid causing all this trouble.

I know it's been a few months since your surgery, but your health is still pretty delicate.  You don't need this sort of stress.  Is he really so concerned about not causing waves with his family that he's willing to put stress and anxiety on someone who needs his help and support?

Editeer

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Re: S/O: MIL redecorating....SIL and boundary trampling
« Reply #23 on: August 01, 2013, 02:06:33 PM »
It's not "just plants." It doesn't matter whether they were plants or something else. They threw away *your stuff* while doing something you never asked them to do in the first place. If SIL had gone through DH's dresser and thrown away his favorite T-shirts because they looked worn-out (in her opinion), would he say something to her?

GoTwins

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Re: S/O: MIL redecorating....SIL and boundary trampling
« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2013, 02:21:57 PM »
You could maybe try sitting down with DH and explaining that it's not just about the plants.

"DH, the plants are a symptom of a larger problem. For the past 10 years, I have tried very hard to put up with your family, in the hopes of making your life more peaceful. But the plants are the final straw.

"When you say to me, 'It's just plants,' what I hear is that the gift my mother and sister gave to me at a time when I was very ill isn't important. What I hear is that I have no say in what plants are in my yard. What I hear is that you don't care that I am upset by the loss of this gift. What I hear is that you would rather keep your family happy than keep me happy. What I hear is that I have no say in this house and this yard, which I have worked for and helped to pay for and which is not theirs, but mine and yours. What I hear is that the opinions of your family, about my behavior, about trimming our trees, about everything, is more important than my opinion. What I hear is that *I* am not at all important to you.

"I need you to hear this: I am not happy. I haven't been happy for a long time. And I am not going to put up with this behavior from your family anymore."
This is good stuff.

Millionaire Maria

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Re: S/O: MIL redecorating....SIL and boundary trampling
« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2013, 02:22:36 PM »

Needless to say, I was infuriated when I saw the damage that had been done.  I am trying to focus on the boundary trampling and not on the plants themselves, because every time I try to discuss this issue with DH, he says “it’s just plants”. 

I told DH that SIL is no longer welcome in our home when I am there unless she a) apologizes and b) UNDERSTANDS why what she did was so out of bounds.    Right now, I can’t even fathom how I could have a civil conversation with SIL at this point.


I get the idea from this portion of your post that you haven't actually confronted your SIL. Why don't you just call her and confront her? It would probably go a lot further in establishing your boundaries. And, if SIL decides to tell the whole family about how "rude" you were to confront her, they will have all gotten the message. If they do something to trample your boundaries, they too will have to endure an uncomfortable phone call.
People everywhere enjoy believing in things they know are not true. It spares them the ordeal of thinking for themselves and taking responsibility for what they know. –Brooks Atkinson

jedikaiti

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Re: S/O: MIL redecorating....SIL and boundary trampling
« Reply #26 on: August 01, 2013, 02:34:52 PM »
Just because it bears repeating one more time.

You could maybe try sitting down with DH and explaining that it's not just about the plants.

"DH, the plants are a symptom of a larger problem. For the past 10 years, I have tried very hard to put up with your family, in the hopes of making your life more peaceful. But the plants are the final straw.

"When you say to me, 'It's just plants,' what I hear is that the gift my mother and sister gave to me at a time when I was very ill isn't important. What I hear is that I have no say in what plants are in my yard. What I hear is that you don't care that I am upset by the loss of this gift. What I hear is that you would rather keep your family happy than keep me happy. What I hear is that I have no say in this house and this yard, which I have worked for and helped to pay for and which is not theirs, but mine and yours. What I hear is that the opinions of your family, about my behavior, about trimming our trees, about everything, is more important than my opinion. What I hear is that *I* am not at all important to you.

"I need you to hear this: I am not happy. I haven't been happy for a long time. And I am not going to put up with this behavior from your family anymore."
This is good stuff.

It may require professional assistance to get this through his skull.
What part of v_e = \sqrt{\frac{2GM}{r}} don't you understand? It's only rocket science!

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lowspark

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Re: S/O: MIL redecorating....SIL and boundary trampling
« Reply #27 on: August 01, 2013, 04:03:59 PM »
It's not "just plants." It doesn't matter whether they were plants or something else. They threw away *your stuff* while doing something you never asked them to do in the first place. If SIL had gone through DH's dresser and thrown away his favorite T-shirts because they looked worn-out (in her opinion), would he say something to her?

This is exactly what I was thinking. The argument "they're just plants" is specious. Yes, to him they are "just plants". To SIL they are "just plants". To you, they are much more than that.

Everyone owns things that they value greatly that someone else sees little or no value in. Everyone. Including DH & SIL. It's oh-so-easy for someone to say "it's just xyz" about someone else's stuff. Try applying it to most of the stuff you own and you'll see that when it's yours, it's not "just".

The most freeing moment for me was when I decided to no longer care what my MIL thought of me

Same here. Actually, I never reached this point with my first MIL. But the second time I was getting married, I swore I'd never again worry one whit about what my ILs thought of me. And what a difference that made to my own peace of mind!

I am who I am. Lots of people like me just the way I am. If my ILs (or anyone else for that matter) doesn't like me, that's their perogative of course, but I'm not going to move one millimeter away from who I am in order to try to please them.

You go girl!

Cami

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Re: S/O: MIL redecorating....SIL and boundary trampling
« Reply #28 on: August 01, 2013, 04:48:57 PM »
I was talking to someone else today dealing with a husband who has no spine with his family, but plenty of spine with her in that he allows his family to trample all over her wishes and needs, but has no problem telling HER to just be quiet about her unhappiness. It's amazing how he cannot find the spine to stand up to his family, but has zippo problem telling her to shut up because he didn't want to hear about her unhappiness. I asked her when he started being as dismissive of her feelings as his family is.

I suggested that they get marital counseling and/or that when he enables or tries to dismiss her feelings because it's more important or easier to dismiss her feelings to keep mommy happy, that she start making it MORE difficult for him to dismiss her feelings. If the guy responds only to the stick approach, then get a bigger stick. Or talk to a doctor about having the part of your brain with feelings removed, because you're going to keep getting hurt for the rest of your life.

(For me, I wouldn't want to be in a relationship like that. But it's not my relationship.)

Redneck Gravy

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Re: S/O: MIL redecorating....SIL and boundary trampling
« Reply #29 on: August 01, 2013, 05:17:39 PM »
You could maybe try sitting down with DH and explaining that it's not just about the plants.

"DH, the plants are a symptom of a larger problem. For the past 10 years, I have tried very hard to put up with your family, in the hopes of making your life more peaceful. But the plants are the final straw.

"When you say to me, 'It's just plants,' what I hear is that the gift my mother and sister gave to me at a time when I was very ill isn't important. What I hear is that I have no say in what plants are in my yard. What I hear is that you don't care that I am upset by the loss of this gift. What I hear is that you would rather keep your family happy than keep me happy. What I hear is that I have no say in this house and this yard, which I have worked for and helped to pay for and which is not theirs, but mine and yours. What I hear is that the opinions of your family, about my behavior, about trimming our trees, about everything, is more important than my opinion. What I hear is that *I* am not at all important to you.

"I need you to hear this: I am not happy. I haven't been happy for a long time. And I am not going to put up with this behavior from your family anymore."
This is good stuff.

POD!