Author Topic: S/O: MIL redecorating....SIL and boundary trampling  (Read 19568 times)

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cattlekid

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Re: S/O: MIL redecorating....SIL and boundary trampling
« Reply #60 on: August 05, 2013, 12:49:49 PM »
Honestly, she'd probably laugh in my face, or blatantly ignore my request.  And it would have to be in a one on one, or the rest of the family would gang up on me and tell me how they were "just plants" and that I am being selfish and how dare I tell them that what their daughter/wife did was wrong.

How would your SIL respond to a blunt request to 'make it right' ie pay for the plants?

SIL: But I was just trying to heeeelllp....
OP: I understand you had good intentions but you caused $XX amount of damage by disposing of my landscaping.  Can you give me cash or would you prefer to write a check?

cattlekid

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Re: S/O: MIL redecorating....SIL and boundary trampling
« Reply #61 on: August 05, 2013, 12:53:42 PM »
Yup.  Dad was mentally, verbally and occasionally physically abusive.  Mom didn't do anything to stop it. 

I have been witness to ONE of FIL's tirades towards DH.  It was ugly, to say the least.  If it was even close to what he had to go through as a child, I don't know why he hasn't completely gone the cut direct route. 

I completely realize that DH's coping mechanisms are few.  So I don't force him to go to bat for me with his family because I know he can't even do it for himself.  I do try (very gently, but directly) to get him to realize that he doesn't have to expose himself to their ugliness and it's perfectly acceptable to minimize contact with them.  No one is going to die because he didn't talk to them for a few days, even though MIL likes to think she will.

He's a person. He has defensive reactions built up through a lifetime of unreasonable manipulation. That's a reality.

It's a form of a handicap. If he were deaf, she'd need to write her communication, or learn sign language. Instead of simply demanding that he should be able to hear her using her preferred form of communication.

Nobody's saying she should just suck it up. And it's not manipulation to communicate honestly, nor to choose the form and format of your communication.

gramma dishes

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Re: S/O: MIL redecorating....SIL and boundary trampling
« Reply #62 on: August 05, 2013, 12:55:51 PM »
Honestly, she'd probably laugh in my face, or blatantly ignore my request.  And it would have to be in a one on one, or the rest of the family would gang up on me and tell me how they were "just plants" and that I am being selfish and how dare I tell them that what their daughter/wife did was wrong.

How would your SIL respond to a blunt request to 'make it right' ie pay for the plants?

SIL: But I was just trying to heeeelllp....
OP: I understand you had good intentions but you caused $XX amount of damage by disposing of my landscaping.  Can you give me cash or would you prefer to write a check?

Did you ever explain to them why they weren't "just plants"? 

I mean obviously she SHOULD pay for them anyway, even if you'd gotten a $1 packet of seeds and tossed them into the ground all by yourself and they had no emotional significance.  But the fact that these were such special plants makes them different.

Edited to add that although I think your husband should ideally be the one sticking up for you here since they're HIS relatives, he obviously hasn't done so and probably won't.  So the time has come for you to stick up for yourself and let them know how you feel about what they did.  Make very clear exactly why their actions hurt you and also made you angry.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2013, 12:59:37 PM by gramma dishes »

cattlekid

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Re: S/O: MIL redecorating....SIL and boundary trampling
« Reply #63 on: August 05, 2013, 01:02:51 PM »
When MIL stopped by last week and told me that "SIL is sorry about the plants", I did tell MIL that these particular plants were planted by my mom and aunt while they were here during my convalescence.  I also told MIL that I wanted an apology directly from SIL and all I got in return was a smirk.  So I'm sure that the message was not passed along. 

I know I need to confront SIL directly about this but I'm still at a loss for how to do so.  I think I need to find someone to role play with so that when I do confront SIL, it doesn't just devolve into me either shouting or crying or worse which is how I tend to react when I feel that I am not being heard.

Did you ever explain to them why they weren't "just plants"? 

I mean obviously she SHOULD pay for them anyway, even if you'd gotten a $1 packet of seeds and tossed them into the ground all by yourself and they had no emotional significance.  But the fact that these were such special plants makes them different.

TootsNYC

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Re: S/O: MIL redecorating....SIL and boundary trampling
« Reply #64 on: August 05, 2013, 01:05:29 PM »
He's a person. He has defensive reactions built up through a lifetime of unreasonable manipulation. That's a reality.

It's a form of a handicap. If he were deaf, she'd need to write her communication, or learn sign language. Instead of simply demanding that he should be able to hear her using her preferred form of communication.

Nobody's saying she should just suck it up. And it's not manipulation to communicate honestly, nor to choose the form and format of your communication.

So, she should continue the manipulation? Advising her to conceal her emotion and present a false one is advising her to lie, to do what his mother did.

I almost feel as though you are deliberately misunderstanding, but perhaps I just see it very differently than you do, or I'm not good at explaining my point.

And so please don't feel that I'm ignoring you if I don't continue this debate. I've made my argument--people who are reading can decide whether they are comfortable with it or not.

SPuck

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Re: S/O: MIL redecorating....SIL and boundary trampling
« Reply #65 on: August 05, 2013, 01:09:31 PM »
I have a feeling that trying to talk to your sister-in-law is going to be like throwing water balloons at a brick wall and expecting damage. Your not going to get anything except a wet wall and wasted water. Pulling back on your relationship with your in-laws and getting your husband into counseling (he married you, he has to understand why your upset) might be the best course of action.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2013, 01:12:19 PM by SPuck »

doodlemor

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Re: S/O: MIL redecorating....SIL and boundary trampling
« Reply #66 on: August 05, 2013, 01:41:55 PM »
I have a feeling that trying to talk to your sister-in-law is going to be like throwing water balloons at a brick wall and expecting damage. Your not going to get anything except a wet wall and wasted water. Pulling back on your relationship with your in-laws and getting your husband into counseling (he married you, he has to understand why your upset) might be the best course of action.

POD. 

LeveeWoman

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Re: S/O: MIL redecorating....SIL and boundary trampling
« Reply #67 on: August 05, 2013, 01:43:23 PM »
He's a person. He has defensive reactions built up through a lifetime of unreasonable manipulation. That's a reality.

It's a form of a handicap. If he were deaf, she'd need to write her communication, or learn sign language. Instead of simply demanding that he should be able to hear her using her preferred form of communication.

Nobody's saying she should just suck it up. And it's not manipulation to communicate honestly, nor to choose the form and format of your communication.

So, she should continue the manipulation? Advising her to conceal her emotion and present a false one is advising her to lie, to do what his mother did.

I almost feel as though you are deliberately misunderstanding, but perhaps I just see it very differently than you do, or I'm not good at explaining my point.

And so please don't feel that I'm ignoring you if I don't continue this debate. I've made my argument--people who are reading can decide whether they are comfortable with it or not.

Oh, I get your point. I just don't agree with it.

BarensMom

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Re: S/O: MIL redecorating....SIL and boundary trampling
« Reply #68 on: August 05, 2013, 01:57:09 PM »
Golly, I hate to say this, because it's dragging in other family.  However, if DH is that cowed by his family and, you, OP, don't feel that you can confront SIL yourself, how about having YOUR Mom call SIL and say, "I heard you tore up the plants I paid for and placed in my daughter's yard to commemorate her kidney transplant.  I just want to let you know I don't appreciate you doing that.  I don't care if you were trying to help, you still destroyed my work and caused my daughter stress that she just doesn't need."

SIL might tell your mom to go do something interesting to herself, but it also puts DH's family on notice that their antics are not going unnoticed by the world at large.

wheeitsme

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Re: S/O: MIL redecorating....SIL and boundary trampling
« Reply #69 on: August 05, 2013, 02:09:10 PM »
I think at this point your best and most direct conversation with your SIL probably needs to go something like this:

CK:  "SIL, This is just a heads-up that you may not touch/remove/help with anything at our residence.  Ever.  You have shown that you are not to be trusted with knowing what is important to other people and with other people's property. "

(cue: "I was just trying to heeeeelp")

CK:  "I understand that.  And the way you did it has shown that you are not to be trusted with knowing what is important to other people and with other people's property.  So while I appreciate the thought, you may not touch/remove/help with anything at our residence."

...she'll probably get a little shirty, but try to just stay calm and state those two facts.  If she tries to escalate, just try to stay calm and state those two facts.  At this point, I think the best goal is just to get those two facts said to her. 

If your secondary goal of her actually paying attention to what you said and doing/not doing it happens, great.  But I think that might take longer.  There will probably be a "Do you remember when I said "this".  I meant it.  You are no longer welcome at our house because you cannot be trusted" moment ahead.

Good luck.

When MIL stopped by last week and told me that "SIL is sorry about the plants", I did tell MIL that these particular plants were planted by my mom and aunt while they were here during my convalescence.  I also told MIL that I wanted an apology directly from SIL and all I got in return was a smirk.  So I'm sure that the message was not passed along. 

I know I need to confront SIL directly about this but I'm still at a loss for how to do so.  I think I need to find someone to role play with so that when I do confront SIL, it doesn't just devolve into me either shouting or crying or worse which is how I tend to react when I feel that I am not being heard.

Did you ever explain to them why they weren't "just plants"? 

I mean obviously she SHOULD pay for them anyway, even if you'd gotten a $1 packet of seeds and tossed them into the ground all by yourself and they had no emotional significance.  But the fact that these were such special plants makes them different.

Wordgeek

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Re: S/O: MIL redecorating....SIL and boundary trampling
« Reply #70 on: August 05, 2013, 02:22:36 PM »
I've made my argument--people who are reading can decide whether they are comfortable with it or not.

Darn straight.  As has been pointed out to you in the past, people are allowed to disagree with you.  You are not the almighty authority on all topics.  Other people can and will have their own opinions.  As LeveeWoman says, quite nicely, she understands your point, she just doesn't agree with you.

So, drop it.

Bethalize

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Re: S/O: MIL redecorating....SIL and boundary trampling
« Reply #71 on: August 05, 2013, 02:23:35 PM »
Cattlekid, you'll never make them happy. I suggest you stop trying to come up with a win-win situation because they don't care about your win. Instead, get your win by doing what you want for yourself. Don't want to go to dinner? Don't. Stop enabling your husband in this situation. Let him deal with the fall out from both sides. He's an adult, he can make choices.

SPuck

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Re: S/O: MIL redecorating....SIL and boundary trampling
« Reply #72 on: August 05, 2013, 02:27:35 PM »
Stop enabling your husband in this situation. Let him deal with the fall out from both sides. He's an adult, he can make choices.

Also he'll probably end up seeing them less if her has to deal with the agony more himself, and doesn't have anyone else to push it on to.

JeanFromBNA

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Re: S/O: MIL redecorating....SIL and boundary trampling
« Reply #73 on: August 05, 2013, 03:05:19 PM »
Cattlekid, you'll never make them happy. I suggest you stop trying to come up with a win-win situation because they don't care about your win. Instead, get your win by doing what you want for yourself. Don't want to go to dinner? Don't. Stop enabling your husband in this situation. Let him deal with the fall out from both sides. He's an adult, he can make choices.
Given your update about your SIL's likely response to a request for reimbursement and an apology, I now have to agree with this.  I would find something better to do than go to that christening. 

LeveeWoman

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Re: S/O: MIL redecorating....SIL and boundary trampling
« Reply #74 on: August 05, 2013, 03:51:51 PM »
Cattlekid, you'll never make them happy. I suggest you stop trying to come up with a win-win situation because they don't care about your win. Instead, get your win by doing what you want for yourself. Don't want to go to dinner? Don't. Stop enabling your husband in this situation. Let him deal with the fall out from both sides. He's an adult, he can make choices.
Given your update about your SIL's likely response to a request for reimbursement and an apology, I now have to agree with this.  I would find something better to do than go to that christening.

I'd stay home. Hubby can go and take whatever present he buys. If they think badly of me, so what?