Author Topic: Etiquette of trying to resolve a situation after a firm "drop it"  (Read 7191 times)

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LeveeWoman

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Re: Etiquette of trying to resolve a situation after a firm "drop it"
« Reply #30 on: February 25, 2014, 10:12:50 PM »
Just to make sure I've got this right, you had planned to go to your husband's home state but you changed your mind when your parents offered to pay for you to come to their state? Yeah, I can understand why MIL is upset, especially when you say it's a 'long planned trip'. I don't think it's selfish at all - she feels like she's missing out on time with her family because you got a better offer (although I can understand why you chose the paid-for trip).

This is probably one of those things that you can't smooth over with words. If you have a good relationship with your MIL and want to make it up to her, you should schedule another visit as soon as you can and stick to it. Otherwise, don't tell her about your plans until they're paid for and set in stone.

I don't think so, exactly.  I read it as the long planned trip to visit with husband's family had to be cancelled after OP lost her job and they did not have the money to make the trip.  And then her family offered to pay for them to come visit.  Not that the trip to his family was cancelled because her family made a better offer.

But the op also stated she doesn't have vacation time with the new job.  So where did the vacation time cine from suddenly?  I can understand why the the in laws are upset.  You got a better offer and took it.

Eta I saw subsequent posts about before your job starts.  I still think it is insensitive to take this trip regardless of your parents paying.  You are going at a time when you were supposed to be with your in laws.  The situation is unfortunate but given the competitiveness,  is not possible you are more generous with time with your parents?  Or is MIL a constant drama llama?  Would you do the same to your parents if the situation was reversed?  Do you typically spend equal time with both?

Must every vacation be planned with an eye to making sure that the parents are given equal time?

lollylegs

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Re: Etiquette of trying to resolve a situation after a firm "drop it"
« Reply #31 on: February 25, 2014, 10:35:01 PM »
Just to make sure I've got this right, you had planned to go to your husband's home state but you changed your mind when your parents offered to pay for you to come to their state? Yeah, I can understand why MIL is upset, especially when you say it's a 'long planned trip'. I don't think it's selfish at all - she feels like she's missing out on time with her family because you got a better offer (although I can understand why you chose the paid-for trip).

This is probably one of those things that you can't smooth over with words. If you have a good relationship with your MIL and want to make it up to her, you should schedule another visit as soon as you can and stick to it. Otherwise, don't tell her about your plans until they're paid for and set in stone.

I don't think so, exactly.  I read it as the long planned trip to visit with husband's family had to be cancelled after OP lost her job and they did not have the money to make the trip.  And then her family offered to pay for them to come visit.  Not that the trip to his family was cancelled because her family made a better offer.

But the op also stated she doesn't have vacation time with the new job.  So where did the vacation time cine from suddenly?  I can understand why the the in laws are upset.  You got a better offer and took it.

Eta I saw subsequent posts about before your job starts.  I still think it is insensitive to take this trip regardless of your parents paying.  You are going at a time when you were supposed to be with your in laws.  The situation is unfortunate but given the competitiveness,  is not possible you are more generous with time with your parents?  Or is MIL a constant drama llama?  Would you do the same to your parents if the situation was reversed?  Do you typically spend equal time with both?

Must every vacation be planned with an eye to making sure that the parents are given equal time?

Getting slightly off topic because this doesn't really refer to the OP, it's just a general answer to your question, but assuming that you have good relationships with both sets of parents and they live roughly equal distances away, I think you'd be foolish not to know that spending more time with one set of parents isn't going to result in hurt feelings for the other, especially where grandchildren are involved.

Daydream

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Re: Etiquette of trying to resolve a situation after a firm "drop it"
« Reply #32 on: February 25, 2014, 10:38:31 PM »
I'm late but was going to suggest the "We don't keep secrets from each other" statement be said to your MIL (by your husband), too. 

There have been threads here where people have explained that some people agree to tell their SO everything, even if a friend who has no relationship with their SO tells them about a private, sensitive medical issue or if it's just that their coworker bought a new nail polish on their lunch break that day.  Otherwise they are "keeping secrets" from their SO. 

This situation absolutely involves your husband and is stressful for you, so even if your marriage doesn't usually work that way, I think your husband should handle his mother and tell her that it does.

LeveeWoman

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Re: Etiquette of trying to resolve a situation after a firm "drop it"
« Reply #33 on: February 25, 2014, 10:43:23 PM »
Just to make sure I've got this right, you had planned to go to your husband's home state but you changed your mind when your parents offered to pay for you to come to their state? Yeah, I can understand why MIL is upset, especially when you say it's a 'long planned trip'. I don't think it's selfish at all - she feels like she's missing out on time with her family because you got a better offer (although I can understand why you chose the paid-for trip).

This is probably one of those things that you can't smooth over with words. If you have a good relationship with your MIL and want to make it up to her, you should schedule another visit as soon as you can and stick to it. Otherwise, don't tell her about your plans until they're paid for and set in stone.

I don't think so, exactly.  I read it as the long planned trip to visit with husband's family had to be cancelled after OP lost her job and they did not have the money to make the trip.  And then her family offered to pay for them to come visit.  Not that the trip to his family was cancelled because her family made a better offer.

But the op also stated she doesn't have vacation time with the new job.  So where did the vacation time cine from suddenly?  I can understand why the the in laws are upset.  You got a better offer and took it.

Eta I saw subsequent posts about before your job starts.  I still think it is insensitive to take this trip regardless of your parents paying.  You are going at a time when you were supposed to be with your in laws.  The situation is unfortunate but given the competitiveness,  is not possible you are more generous with time with your parents?  Or is MIL a constant drama llama?  Would you do the same to your parents if the situation was reversed?  Do you typically spend equal time with both?

Must every vacation be planned with an eye to making sure that the parents are given equal time?

Getting slightly off topic because this doesn't really refer to the OP, it's just a general answer to your question, but assuming that you have good relationships with both sets of parents and they live roughly equal distances away, I think you'd be foolish not to know that spending more time with one set of parents isn't going to result in hurt feelings for the other, especially where grandchildren are involved.

Well, then the grandparents who might miss a time need to get over it. Life does not lend itself to making sure that everyone always gets "fair" treatment. This is not a business transaction in which both parties must ensure that their end of the bargain is upheld. This is a family whose economic vicisitudes have changed the status quo.


Ceallach

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Re: Etiquette of trying to resolve a situation after a firm "drop it"
« Reply #34 on: February 25, 2014, 10:51:49 PM »
I can understand MIL feeling sad that OP and the family aren't visiting - she was probably looking forward to it.  But I just can't wrap my head around the sense of entitlement for a visit, or expressing anything other than concern that the family are going through a tough spot financially.   

I guess my family must work differently to others because there has never been any expectation that we have to be "fair" in how we choose to spend our time.   It's our time, it's our life, we all get on with living our own lives.  I consider my family to be very close and loving, but we're also very independent and don't put any pressure on each other to meet rigid expectations for maintaining the relationship - each individual puts the effort in that they can spare and that they feel is important.  That sometimes means things are more one-sided than others (for example, one sister I visit a lot but she never visits me - but that's to do with different financial and time resources).   I see way more of my own family than I do of DH's family.   That's because I make plans to visit mine often (sometimes without DH), and also because most of mine visit us from time to time as well.    No member of DH's family has ever visited us.   We also spent christmas with my Dad & SM one year because they paid to fly us over and put us up, so it was a "bonus" trip that we'd never have made otherwise, similar to the OP.    Actually, I haven't spend Christmas with my mother in over a decade... I've spent some with my Dad, some with my in-laws, some over here with my brother.  Would my mother like us to spend Christmas together?  Yeah I'm sure she would be quite happy to see me at that special time of the year.  But it's just not the way things have worked out best, I've visited her at different times instead.

I can't imagine the stress it would add to my life if my mother felt it had to be "fair" and "even" between how often I visit her vs. visiting my Dad & SM, or if my in-laws felt it had to be "fair" and "even" in terms of how often we see them vs. my family.     It would probably make me feel disinclined to visit any of them.  I just don't have any patience for those type of demands being placed on other people's time and money.   
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TootsNYC

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Re: Etiquette of trying to resolve a situation after a firm "drop it"
« Reply #35 on: February 25, 2014, 11:01:40 PM »

 I still think it is insensitive to take this trip regardless of your parents paying.  You are going at a time when you were supposed to be with your in laws.  The situation is unfortunate but given the competitiveness,  is not possible you are more generous with time with your parents?  Or is MIL a constant drama llama?  Would you do the same to your parents if the situation was reversed?  Do you typically spend equal time with both?

Must every vacation be planned with an eye to making sure that the parents are given equal time?

Getting slightly off topic because this doesn't really refer to the OP, it's just a general answer to your question, but assuming that you have good relationships with both sets of parents and they live roughly equal distances away, I think you'd be foolish not to know that spending more time with one set of parents isn't going to result in hurt feelings for the other, especially where grandchildren are involved.

Well, then the grandparents who might miss a time need to get over it. Life does not lend itself to making sure that everyone always gets "fair" treatment. This is not a business transaction in which both parties must ensure that their end of the bargain is upheld. This is a family whose economic vicisitudes have changed the status quo.


This is not a zero-sum game. It's not a matter of taking time reserved for MIL's side of the family and giving it to the OP's parents' side. The OP is not robbing Peter to pay Paul.

I know that my own mother *and* my MIL would both be saying, "well, at least you'll get that visit before the new job starts! I'll miss seeing you, but I'm glad you'll get family time with them at least."

LeveeWoman

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Re: Etiquette of trying to resolve a situation after a firm "drop it"
« Reply #36 on: February 25, 2014, 11:36:11 PM »

 I still think it is insensitive to take this trip regardless of your parents paying.  You are going at a time when you were supposed to be with your in laws.  The situation is unfortunate but given the competitiveness,  is not possible you are more generous with time with your parents?  Or is MIL a constant drama llama?  Would you do the same to your parents if the situation was reversed?  Do you typically spend equal time with both?

Must every vacation be planned with an eye to making sure that the parents are given equal time?

Getting slightly off topic because this doesn't really refer to the OP, it's just a general answer to your question, but assuming that you have good relationships with both sets of parents and they live roughly equal distances away, I think you'd be foolish not to know that spending more time with one set of parents isn't going to result in hurt feelings for the other, especially where grandchildren are involved.

Well, then the grandparents who might miss a time need to get over it. Life does not lend itself to making sure that everyone always gets "fair" treatment. This is not a business transaction in which both parties must ensure that their end of the bargain is upheld. This is a family whose economic vicisitudes have changed the status quo.


This is not a zero-sum game. It's not a matter of taking time reserved for MIL's side of the family and giving it to the OP's parents' side. The OP is not robbing Peter to pay Paul.

I know that my own mother *and* my MIL would both be saying, "well, at least you'll get that visit before the new job starts! I'll miss seeing you, but I'm glad you'll get family time with them at least."

Precisely!

Lindee

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Re: Etiquette of trying to resolve a situation after a firm "drop it"
« Reply #37 on: February 26, 2014, 12:22:48 AM »
So you offered to pay for her to visit you once you had the money and she declined as she would be too busy, asks you to keep this problem from your husband, whines to at least one third party about it, refuses to speak to you and you are upsetting yourself wondering how to make it right with her?  Take her at her word and don't try to talk to her about it any further,  tell your husband what is going on and enjoy your holiday with your family. If she wants to sulk, let her.   Good luck with your new job, I hope it goes well and you get back on a firmer financial footing again.

lollylegs

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Re: Etiquette of trying to resolve a situation after a firm "drop it"
« Reply #38 on: February 26, 2014, 12:23:16 AM »

 I still think it is insensitive to take this trip regardless of your parents paying.  You are going at a time when you were supposed to be with your in laws.  The situation is unfortunate but given the competitiveness,  is not possible you are more generous with time with your parents?  Or is MIL a constant drama llama?  Would you do the same to your parents if the situation was reversed?  Do you typically spend equal time with both?

Must every vacation be planned with an eye to making sure that the parents are given equal time?

Getting slightly off topic because this doesn't really refer to the OP, it's just a general answer to your question, but assuming that you have good relationships with both sets of parents and they live roughly equal distances away, I think you'd be foolish not to know that spending more time with one set of parents isn't going to result in hurt feelings for the other, especially where grandchildren are involved.

Well, then the grandparents who might miss a time need to get over it. Life does not lend itself to making sure that everyone always gets "fair" treatment. This is not a business transaction in which both parties must ensure that their end of the bargain is upheld. This is a family whose economic vicisitudes have changed the status quo.


This is not a zero-sum game. It's not a matter of taking time reserved for MIL's side of the family and giving it to the OP's parents' side. The OP is not robbing Peter to pay Paul.

I know that my own mother *and* my MIL would both be saying, "well, at least you'll get that visit before the new job starts! I'll miss seeing you, but I'm glad you'll get family time with them at least."

Sure, and like I said, I'm veering off the topic of the OP a little and talking in general. Levee Woman suggested that children shouldn't have to plan their holidays around spending equal time with both parents and no, of course they shouldn't, but I think, all things being equal, it would be a kindness to try to share out time as equally as possible or, if you do spend a significant amount more time with one set of parents, to not let the other parent know that. I can understand hurt feelings, is all.

Of course, how the hurt feelings are expressed is another matter entirely and when the hurt party is churlish or childish, yes, that's very rude.

blarg314

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Re: Etiquette of trying to resolve a situation after a firm "drop it"
« Reply #39 on: February 26, 2014, 01:09:16 AM »

Sure, and like I said, I'm veering off the topic of the OP a little and talking in general. Levee Woman suggested that children shouldn't have to plan their holidays around spending equal time with both parents and no, of course they shouldn't, but I think, all things being equal, it would be a kindness to try to share out time as equally as possible or, if you do spend a significant amount more time with one set of parents, to not let the other parent know that. I can understand hurt feelings, is all.

Of course, how the hurt feelings are expressed is another matter entirely and when the hurt party is churlish or childish, yes, that's very rude.

I think it's the "all things being equal" part that's the issue at the moment. In the past, things were relatively equal, and they divided their time between the two sides of the family equally.

At the moment, things are not equal. They can afford to visit the OP's family. They cannot afford to visit MIL's family. If they don't go to visit the OP's family, it won't make any difference to visiting the inlaws - they still can't afford to go.  This family visit doesn't take anything away from MIL - the only thing refusing to go would do is give MIL the petty satisfaction of "If I can't have something nice, nobody else can either".

If the MIL offered to pay for the family to visit her now, when they have time but no money, she could get her visit. It appears that she doesn't want to do that, and her visiting them at a later time at the OP's expense isn't good enough either.

I look at this from the perspective of someone who has very different visiting situations between my family and my inlaws. My inlaws are much closer, and easier and cheaper to visit. My family is significantly farther away, and a *lot* more expensive. So we see my family less often (only about every 1.5 years) but for a longer period of time, and my husband usually manages to stop in to his parents a few times a year on business trips (something that never happens to me). My husband can also talk to his family much more easily (same time zone vs 9 hours difference).

For my parents - we lived a similar distance from both sets of grandparents (they lived close to each other, but far from us). We visited them with the same frequency (every two years). But my mom's parents could travel out to visit us, while my Dad's parents' couldn't, so we saw the former set twice as  often than the latter set. Denying us those visits with the grandparents to keep things fair would have been petty, and a net loss to us.



sparksals

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Re: Etiquette of trying to resolve a situation after a firm "drop it"
« Reply #40 on: February 26, 2014, 01:22:28 AM »

But the op also stated she doesn't have vacation time with the new job.  So where did the vacation time cine from suddenly?  I can understand why the the in laws are upset.  You got a better offer and took it.

Because I will not be able to travel again for many months, my parents offered to pay for our family to come and spend time with them again before my new position starts.


What would happen if, when you've made enough money at your new job to afford the trip, you sent your spouse and son out to the IL's place without you? Or will your DH not have any vacation time left either?

That sounds like a nice compromise.

POD to those who don't like MIL telling OP not to tell her DH.  It is worrisome that she would propose such divisive behavior.  I hope that her sadness over not seeing you all has clouded her judgement, and that she is not normally like that.

Did you see my ETA?

sparksals

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Re: Etiquette of trying to resolve a situation after a firm "drop it"
« Reply #41 on: February 26, 2014, 01:27:52 AM »
Just to make sure I've got this right, you had planned to go to your husband's home state but you changed your mind when your parents offered to pay for you to come to their state? Yeah, I can understand why MIL is upset, especially when you say it's a 'long planned trip'. I don't think it's selfish at all - she feels like she's missing out on time with her family because you got a better offer (although I can understand why you chose the paid-for trip).

This is probably one of those things that you can't smooth over with words. If you have a good relationship with your MIL and want to make it up to her, you should schedule another visit as soon as you can and stick to it. Otherwise, don't tell her about your plans until they're paid for and set in stone.

I don't think so, exactly.  I read it as the long planned trip to visit with husband's family had to be cancelled after OP lost her job and they did not have the money to make the trip.  And then her family offered to pay for them to come visit.  Not that the trip to his family was cancelled because her family made a better offer.

But the op also stated she doesn't have vacation time with the new job.  So where did the vacation time cine from suddenly?  I can understand why the the in laws are upset.  You got a better offer and took it.

Eta I saw subsequent posts about before your job starts.  I still think it is insensitive to take this trip regardless of your parents paying.  You are going at a time when you were supposed to be with your in laws.  The situation is unfortunate but given the competitiveness,  is not possible you are more generous with time with your parents?  Or is MIL a constant drama llama?  Would you do the same to your parents if the situation was reversed?  Do you typically spend equal time with both?

Must every vacation be planned with an eye to making sure that the parents are given equal time?

No.  But it strikes me that perhaps there is merit to MILS feelings that the OP's parents are in higher favour.   A reasonable person would not be upset about this unless they are constantly on the lower end.  That is why i asked for additional clarification on whether there is inequity. 




Danika

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Re: Etiquette of trying to resolve a situation after a firm "drop it"
« Reply #42 on: February 26, 2014, 02:13:25 AM »
Many others have already stated what I was thinking. I agree that it was inappropriate for MIL to ask you to keep something from your husband. I agree that you should let him handle most of the communications and planning with her from now on. I agree that if she's sulking, let her sulk in peace. I agree that you shouldn't discuss this with SIL because she's not in the situation. Just bean dip.

The one thing I wanted to add that I didn't see here was to address the fact that your mother and MIL are Facebook friends. I know it's not ideal to add another person to this drama, but you could tell your mother that MIL kind of gets her feelings hurt if she sees too many photos of your nuclear family having fun at the beach with your side of the family. Perhaps your mother could change her Facebook settings such that her friends and family see the photos and statuses that she posts about your trips, and MIL doesn't see them. That way, the information has been stopped, and MIL doesn't need to hear the details or see evidence of how much fun you're having without her. First, it spares her feelings. Second, it'll spare you this kind of drama from MIL and SIL.

Itza

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Re: Etiquette of trying to resolve a situation after a firm "drop it"
« Reply #43 on: February 26, 2014, 07:36:45 AM »
Just to make sure I've got this right, you had planned to go to your husband's home state but you changed your mind when your parents offered to pay for you to come to their state? Yeah, I can understand why MIL is upset, especially when you say it's a 'long planned trip'. I don't think it's selfish at all - she feels like she's missing out on time with her family because you got a better offer (although I can understand why you chose the paid-for trip).

This is probably one of those things that you can't smooth over with words. If you have a good relationship with your MIL and want to make it up to her, you should schedule another visit as soon as you can and stick to it. Otherwise, don't tell her about your plans until they're paid for and set in stone.

I don't think so, exactly.  I read it as the long planned trip to visit with husband's family had to be cancelled after OP lost her job and they did not have the money to make the trip.  And then her family offered to pay for them to come visit.  Not that the trip to his family was cancelled because her family made a better offer.

But the op also stated she doesn't have vacation time with the new job.  So where did the vacation time cine from suddenly?  I can understand why the the in laws are upset.  You got a better offer and took it.

Eta I saw subsequent posts about before your job starts.  I still think it is insensitive to take this trip regardless of your parents paying.  You are going at a time when you were supposed to be with your in laws.  The situation is unfortunate but given the competitiveness,  is not possible you are more generous with time with your parents?  Or is MIL a constant drama llama?  Would you do the same to your parents if the situation was reversed?  Do you typically spend equal time with both?

Must every vacation be planned with an eye to making sure that the parents are given equal time?

Getting slightly off topic because this doesn't really refer to the OP, it's just a general answer to your question, but assuming that you have good relationships with both sets of parents and they live roughly equal distances away, I think you'd be foolish not to know that spending more time with one set of parents isn't going to result in hurt feelings for the other, especially where grandchildren are involved.

With this in mind, I would certainly have understood any fuss my in-laws might have made to not seeing us equally when we first lived together, equal distance from both sets of parents. They didn't make any fuss and they saw us 2 or 3 times a  year.

My mother, however, made an incredible fuss and accused me of 'always' seeing my in-laws and 'never' seeing her and Dad. We actually saw my parents once a month, alternating our visits to each other, so 12 times a year.

My mother has a lot of issues and I see her very much being like the MIL of the OP.

I agree with many PPs, the OP has done nothing wrong and has nothing to feel guilty about; the circumstances were just one of these things that happen sometimes.




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MindsEye

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Re: Etiquette of trying to resolve a situation after a firm "drop it"
« Reply #44 on: February 26, 2014, 07:57:32 AM »
Your MIL is hurt?  Well... let her be hurt.  Just drop the rope.

I can understand her being disappointed, maybe even a little upset, that you now can't afford to make the planned trip to see her because of unemployment and that your new job (when you do start it) will not allow you to take vacation for a while. 

However...
I don't see your MIL being happy that your and your family will soon be on a firmer financial ground.
I don't see your MIL offering to help you and your family financially so that you can visit her before you start your new job.
I don't see your MIL offering to come and visit you and your family at any point.
Since your MIL is "busy with the process of building a new home" I seriously doubt that she is hurting financially and is unable to visit you or to help you to visit her!
And I am flabbergasted that she would refuse to come and see you when you offered to pay her way!

Now, I may be totally off base, but all of these add up to my thinking that your MIL doesn't want to see you and your family as much as she wants to pout and play the martyr.  So just let her be hurt.  Pull back and let your husband deal with her.

And enjoy your trip to see your parents!