Wednesday, November 26, 2008

MIL drama continued

Ladies, I don't really know where or how to start this one. I'll probably have to get more in-depth when I have a longer amount of time to tell you everything. I'll try to give it to you in a nutshell:

Inlaws said they wanted to come for Hubby's 40th birthday and Christmas. We said that was fine. We told them that we would have an agreed-upon agenda. They sent 'fluff' email stating that they wanted to 'make memories, sing Christmas carols around the piano and just enjoy 'being' together'. (I swear, this was verbatim...who are we Norman Rockwell?) Well that is what we thought we had been doing for the last several visits.

But after we received the email that they felt like we used them, we decided to take a different route. We set an agenda of what we could do and they said that we sounded militaristic and couldn't move on. The words they used were ones that we were 'cold & unwelcoming'. So, we told them that we weren't being cold, we were just trying to make a plan because we wanted to make sure that no one felt used. They responded with a 'until you can move on and not move backward, thank you but NO THANK YOU'. Those are exact words. We replied stating that we were not moving backward, but rather feeling like we were at a stand-still because we needed answers to these questions and that we couldn't move on until we knew exactly what we did so that we can make it right.

So, that is it. How sad that they have to be so controlling and struggle for power all the time. I feel very badly for my husband most of all. I can't imagine growing up in such a conditional-love atmosphere. He is such a good man and I consider him one of my many blessings to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. And, hubby, when you read this, know how much I love you sweetie, and am so proud of who you are!

I will fill you in if anything else happens!


Belle (from Life of a...) said...

I'm so sorry that you're having to deal with this. We have issues with both of our mothers (our dads are deceased)who live in the same town. My husband is an incredibly patient and I cope by taking a "happy pill" whenever I have to be around either of them.

Susan D. said...

Oh boy, call me when you have time. we're on the road tomororow beginning around mid-morning. So sorry all this sh*t is going on for you guys.

Preppy 101 said...

Honestly - Bless your hearts! I am so sorry that all this surfaces right here during the holiday time. Sit down with hubby and have a glass of wine. . . Such a difficult situation for both of you. Hope it gets better. Happy Thanksgiving!

Lipstick said...

Poor Plaid Girl! I hope y'all can end up having a relaxing Thanksgiving!

Lizzie said...

Hi--I was just passing through, following "preppy links' and I ran across your well written posts about MIL rage. Familiar with the behavior of narcissists, I was intrigued and read back a bit...confirms my diagnosis.

You sound like a very good person who tries hard. Not every person is worthy. Your MIL is a narcissist (sound diagnosable) and the only way to deal with someone like that is to set rules, strict rules, like your dh has. Clearly, based on this last post, they can't handle have flushed them out.

All you can do is manage them while not changing who you are. The next best thing is to restrict contact.

If I were you I would be *delighted* that they said they can't come. Do not negotiate *your behavior* with them. You have done what you can, if they can't handle, well is sad that they don't want a better relationship but that is THEIR problem. It sounds like you have great parents. Enjoy them. be grateful for a wonderful husband who is on your side even when dealing with difficult parents.

Just so you know--I have family members like this. They are better now, but I pretty much had to not see them for awhile. When they realized that I could cut them off completely and that would be that, they suddenly shaped up. With one family member I had to do this twice.

They tend to accuse you of what THEY are doing: "cold and uncaring" that is EXACTLY what they are. Projection! (hello freud)

It was not in my nature either, but my husband helped me. He told me that the "bigger person" stuff is pretty much crap. You have to be true to yourself. Not cruel, angry or mean, just to protect yourself. Be honest, not angry.

A little more about me: I teach english lit at a university in the south and do a lot of research on personality disorders. I am also mad about plaid, as it happens.


The 5 Bickies said...

That sounds so frustrating and confusing! Hang in there.

P said...

I'm sorry you have to worry about all that.

Surf Girl said...

Oh girl, you know I am right there with you. Are you sure your husband and mine didn't grow up in the same family?? I am sometimes amazed that my husband turned out as good as he did. Your husband is lucky to have you and I love that he is totally on your side! I haven't spoken to my SIL since May - basically because I stood up to her for the first time in 12 YEARS!! We usually spend Christmas Day at her house - I'm going to need lots of courage and a little luck.