• Announcements

    • LaToyaADMIN

      Tell us about your experience with signing up for Medicare   01/23/18

      We want to know what the process was like for you, any difficulties you experienced, the length of your process, etc. This is strictly research and any information you share with us will not be shared elsewhere. Please email jack@grandparents.com with the subject line: Medicare Process and we'll be in touch with specific questions.
    • LaToyaADMIN

      PLEASE READ: We are moving the community   02/15/18

      Dear Community friends and family,   After great consideration, we are moving the Grandparents.com community to Facebook Groups effective March 15, 2018.   This wasn’t an easy decision, but we want to bring our communities together and believe the best place to do so is through Facebook’s groups feature. We’re so appreciative of you and the diverse conversations and opinions you have provided over the past 9 years. Your stories and amazing advice have helped so many readers, and have reached thousands of GP.com users. We encourage you to retrieve any information you want to retain as the forum will only be accessible by the admin after March 15, 2018. We’ve created a closed Facebook group called Mothers-in-Law Unplugged where we welcome you to continue the conversations around grandparenting, family, and in-law relationships, and any general topics we discuss here. As the group is closed and each user must be approved, your friends and family on Facebook won’t see any of your activity. Request to join the group here: http://bit.ly/milunplugged Thank you to all of our past and current users. You helped build our community, and we look forward to continuing to interact with you in the Facebook groups. If you have any questions about the groups and privacy, let’s chat about here:   Sincerely,   The Grandparents.com Team
sunshine97325

Don't feel like a Grandma yet...

170 posts in this topic

I apologize that I'm doing this post within a post - but it's just easier to keep my thoughts organized.

 

 

 

I'm glad that you were able to share your feelings with her, but I think what she said (and what she didn't say) are very important here. Your goal is more time with them. Your goal is a good relationship. She gave you an inkling into what makes her tick in this text conversation. Explore that. you want to know if you did anything wrong - she has already shared something that was an issue for her. But for what it's worth - your response back seemed to dismiss her concerns rather than address them and deal with them. 

 

I think there is a lot of potential here - because you want to make this work and she wants to make this work. But you have to be careful of motives. And you have to be careful that presentation doesn't become an issue. Downplaying her concerns, blowing them off with a "that doesn't mean we can't see our grandchild" kind of responses, telling her that if they really wanted to - they could make it work - all run the risk of being misinterpreted on her side, and of causing hurt feelings.

 

Let me give you a small example from my own life. When our oldest was born - I was able to take an extended (at least for the states) maternity leave - but DD went into childcare after a span of several months. We had done everything in our power to figure out how to work it so that I could stay home with her - but it just didn't work. The only truly viable option was to have DH work two jobs - which would prevent him from seeing our baby - and I wasn't willing to sacrifice him seeing her at all for the benefit of a few more hours at home with her for myself (we juggled our schedules and minimized child care). My mother knew how much grief I had received at our church from some of my more adamant acquaintances (I was told my baby was doomed because I went back to work, that I was sending her into a virtual hell by sending her to a CHURCH daycare, and that I was a terrible mother) and we had actually left the church because of the ridicule that I got about returning to work.  My mother didn't outright agree with them by any stretch - but she did say something that hurt me more than all of their comments combined. She said "Well, you guys COULD make it work, if you really wanted to make it work you could do it. You just aren't willing to make the sacrifices". I was SICK! Absolutely SICK that my mother not only could say that to me - but that she actually believed it. I didn't say a word about it - haven't to this day and my DD is 16. But it still twists my stomach that she said that. As if I wouldn't do everything in my power to do what I thought was best for our children.  She had NO idea of the amount of thought we had put into the childcare center where we sent her and how painful it had been for me to go back to work to begin with. She had NO idea of what our financial situation might have been like. What she did know is that SHE did it, so there wasn't any reason whatsoever that I couldn't do it too. Because that was the way it should be. But it wasn't. It was the way it was for her. Not for me. And our choices had to be made for the good of our family first. 

 

I think she recognizes now that she said something that hurt me - she'll make comments about how great my girls are and I've said a couple of times "that daycare didn't ruin them?" kind of sarcastically, to which she NOW tells me "I think it was such a brave choice for you guys, I know you wanted to stay home. I still think you COULD have but I understand why you did what you did." (still not appropriate but I'll take that over the other believe me)

 

I say all of that to say this - you believe that they COULD spend more time with you if they made an effort despite how busy they are. I think you have derived this from the fact that YOU made this work when your children were small. But she isn't you and what worked for you might not work for her, and she might not even want that. THEY might not want that. Just try to remember that she is telling you something important. It is just as important to hear what she is saying as it is to make your own point. 

I thought we worked through the issue she brought up, we talked about it back then. She never kept away etc. I gave her praise and compliments through out my text. She did say she would try harder and she thinks we should see them more.  

 

She said I love you a few times. I never said it back. So, we talked about why. I can care about someone and not have to say I love you. I really don't feel hers was true. She was the one that says love is unconditional so she should still feel the same even if there is a rough spot. 

 

I want to see all of them. I am not just zoning in to just the baby. Its good to know her feelings, she says she feels that we don't love her or wish he chose someone else. Even though it may be not what we mean she feels it. She has always doubted their relationship. She brings it up. I never said I doubted it. 

 

I feel we can make time and make it work. Even though both families are busy. If we really want it, it can be done. Compromise. I didn't mean it as demanding etc. I said they know their schedule best so let us know when they have time etc. I did not mean to hurt her.

 

I know this relationship can work. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm glad OP got to have a convo and tell her DH how she felt. But, wow, things are making so much more sense to me now, having the info on the text convo. It sounds to me like OP "feels a certain kind of way" about DIL (my quotes) and DIL knows it and/or can sense it. Or maybe it is a deficiency in self-awareness?

OP, FWIW, I think you have a gem of a DIL. If it were me, I think this convo would have made things worse.

I really don't think it made it worse. I feel it opened up how she is feeling. She now knows how I feel. She seen where I was coming from. She was thankful for my compliments and praise that now she feels like we think they are doing good and a good couple. That before she felt like we thought he could do better and we are seeing they are doing well. I know she felt better about hearing how happy we are for them. That brought up memories of her feeling that she was not good enough. Now she feels a little better about it. SHE was the one that brought  up he could do better a few years ago. Not me. She has always doubted it. So, hearing praise from me was a good thing and it was honest. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OP, I keep repeating myself, but I sincerely wish you could somehow look at this from your DS/DIL eyes. She said they were busy, you said we are all busy.

They have a four (maybe five now?) month old baby. You are not in their realm of busy, unless you are a full time caregiver for a person who is incontinent, unable to speak, unable to feed themselves, unable to move or dress themselves and vomits on themselves. Frankly, it is pretty insulting to minimize their busyness and I am actually impressed she kept up with the conversation. Compassion and understanding will be the key to getting more time with them, and I don't see a lot of that with what you texted.

She seen where they could do better. That doesn't mean they will. But, she seen it. I also feel good I got out how I felt to the person I am having issues with. It I feel was taken better than from you guys. I did not write word for word, but I guess some of the stuff I left out should have been in it. Oh well. I do feel better so that is all that matters. If it turns out and we see less of them at least I know why. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This DIL sounds like she struggles with very low self esteem. Having this man choose her for his wife is huge to her ego. For her in-laws to see her as marginal is a huge slap in the face.

 

You don't get to choose who you child marries....furthermore, its not your business. Your job is to accept your child's choice with an open mind and an open heart. This new person is now part of your family and should be welcomed into your family circle.

 

Let me simplify. This woman is your grandson's mother. Embrace it 'cause you can't change it.

I have embraced her into our family. At least you agree we don't get to pick who our children marry. She was the one that doubted it. You are right low self esteem but she comes out so harsh and strong. 

 

We were doing good until she brought up the past stuff. But, I think she was happy to get compliments that it made her feel good and that she remembers when she felt not good enough etc. SHE was the one that felt that. I have tried hard to have her a part of the family etc. That is why I keep trying to connect. 

 

IF I did not want to embrace her into our family. I would not be trying to figure out how to make it work. I feel if she didn't want to be a part of our family or felt welcomed she would never come over. Others express that they stay home when spouses go to their parents etc. She has never done that. So, there is really hope here. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow. Sunshine, I think it's fantastic that you and DIL got to talk with each other for so long! And thank you for sharing the results with us!

 

A few factors became apparent though. One is thatthere is more of a straing between you and DIL than I thought, regardless of whose fault that might be. Another is that you weren't satisfied with DIL as DS's choice. You admitted it's not up to you to choose his DW but you didn't say you were happpy with his choice so I take it you weren't. Maybe I'm wrong but if I'm taking it that way - and apparently, so are some PPs - then she probably did, too, I'm afraid. Another is that she feels as if you people are actuallly trying to pursh her away, as if, I suppose, you wiant DS and GS in your lives but would love to do that w/o her. Chances are, you don't feel that way but, for whatever reason, she - and perhaps DS (?) - have gotten that impression.

 

DIL may be reading some of what she has seen in her own FOO into your and DH's reactions to her. And if so, that's unfortunate. But I'm getting the impression that some things were said or done that touched on those feelings for her (or not said - for example, "I love you" or done). And that you knew what they were and thought that talking about it had laid all concerns to rest.

 

But as IM says, simply talking, though good, doesn't necdessarily fix a problem if nothing changes. Perhaps there''s no way you can change it. You can't pretend to love her if you don't. And saying "I love you" if you don't mean it would be, IMO, the worst thing you could do. (My MIL used to pretend she "loved" me"like a daughter" and it always rang hollow -eventually, she told me she didn't - not excactly a plus for our relationship).

 

But DIL seems to need to feel people love/enjoy her if she's going to spend time with them. It may be due to low self-esteem, as Mame suggests, and/or it may be a reaction to, for whatever reason, feeling distanced. So you may either have to find a way to act more positive about her pressence - genuinely priaise her as a mom or praise her appearance or whatever (don't overdo, of course) - or just accept that you won't be seeing DS and family anymore that you already do. And that, yes, if you want to see them, you may have to do all/most of the inviting.

 

If you want to find some positive things to say to and about her, you might want to start working on that in your head, first. Look at the things you really do appreciate. In a sense, you've already begun, happily - she and DS are independent and responsible, you can have long convos with her (not every DIL would do that), etc. In time, your feelings about her may become more positive, overall.

 

It also seems obvious that you don't fully trust her. As a PP said, you seem to suggest she's lying twice. Is there a reason for this lack of trust? Whether there is or not, if she senses it - or if she has a little trust in you - then that, to me, is anohter problem in the relationship.

 

I get the feeling neither of you was really satifeid with that convo. But I think it brought out a lot of what is wrong with the relationship and why she and DS don't seem to seek you and DH out. It's good inof, IMO, even if it's painful. You and she both have a lot to think about....Hopefully, this can still get better.

She is the type that likes to get praise etc. I am not a type that gives it. So, I bet the ones I gave through the text shocked her. 

 

I don't want just my son and grandson coming over. I want all three. I don't want them apart. She was the one with the doubt not me that was at the beginning of their relationship. 

 

I am not hurt really, I feel better knowing where she is coming from. She is going to do what she is going to do. It sounds like they have a routine and once something changes in that its the way it is. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sunshine, we're dealing with a young woman with very low self esteem; these people see slights and insults everywhere because they see themselves as not good enough so they see everyone as pointing out the flaws that are only obvious to them.

 

In reality, you can't "fix" her, that's for her to do. You can, however, make sure to support her every chance you get. You may have to change the way you phrase things...for you to say "we can't pick & choose" she heard "THEY THINK I'M NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR HIM"  I don't mean you should change who you are or how you think, but some people need a little special handling and for the time being your DIL may be one of them. If she had a rough upbringing, she needs to know that in spite of that, she's a competent adult and a good wife/mother. She has a good thing, she knows it and is terribly afraid it will all vanish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mame, I truly wish I could agree with you that what Sunshine's DIL has had a misunderstanding or self esteem interpretation.  But let's look at what Sunshine said 

 

I feel like you guys don't and that sometimes you wish he would have chosen someone else. NOW THIS could have been a misunderstanding - and could have to do with low self esteem -but  ......

 

She talked to me about why he married her. Not long after they married. It will be three years next month. She has always been down on herself. I told her then and now that he went with his heart. That we don't get to pick and choose who he is with. Just before that I put just because I don;t say I love you we can't see each other. She has major issues with her family break apart and get together again. (she assumes I will never love her. None of us know that.)  But I myself, as a perfect stranger and someone who has no dog in this fight- felt that Sunshine simply gave her DIL more reason to believe her perception with her own words.  When you know someone is insecure about a particular topic, you don't "reassure" them by telling you agree with the perception.  If you want to reassure them - you say  "We are glad he chose you, and that you chose him. You make him happy."  When Sunshine said "He went with his heart. We don't get to pick and choose who he is with..." I don't know a single person - regardless of their self esteem level - that wouldn't think "Ok then, you wouldn't have chosen me for him...got it". I'm not quick to misinterpret other's words..but when I read that statement I thought "Ouch! She just told her that she wasn't what she would have chosen for her son" 

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that one shouldn't say I love you when it's not meant. On the other hand, you don't have to rub it in and say you're not sure it can ever happen. Truth can be used as a weapon when it isn't used with care and discretion. Let's take this scenario out of the DIL-MIL dynamic. Would OP's response and inference that she isn't who they would have chosen to have in their family acceptable / "ok because it's true" if it was step-child, step-mother? There's a lot of different, kinder ways the truth could be expressed in volatile topics like this.

 

I don't think I have any particularly bad self-esteem issues and a lot of the text convo as described would have been very hurtful. If I did have poor self-esteem it would be devastating.

 

I think I've used this analogy before, but it's sort of like asking your husband if these pants make you look fat. He could say, "No, the extra weight makes you look fat, not the pants. Maybe you should get to the gym". Or he could say, "I think that black pair of slacks is more flattering on you" and then at a later time offer to go to the gym to work out together. Both may be true, but which is kinder and going to result in a better relationship?

 

It makes me think a little of Divergent - Candor values honesty above all else, to the extreme. Most of the other factions see them as rude jerks because it's not tempered with kindness and self-control.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It makes me think a little of Divergent - Candor values honesty above all else, to the extreme. Most of the other factions see them as rude jerks because it's not tempered with kindness and self-control.

 

YES!!! A Divergent reference!!!! Awesome!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't see any "compliments" in anything you said. If she were more secure and probably a bit older, she would cut back on visits, not increase them.

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, Sunshine, for answering each one of us, individually! How thoughtful of you!

 

I'm glad to hear that you punctuated your text with compliments. Like PPs, I'm not seeing them in what you tolld us but I'm guessing you didn't repeat those compliments here.

 

You may feel, also, I suppose, that saying that DS "went with his heart" was a compliment b/c it suggests he was filled with love for her (and I'm sure he was). But I can also see where she might suspect it also means you're thinking, "If he had gone with his head, he would have married Alphonsia/a smarter girl/a beauty queen/a girl from a diffferent BG/fill-in-the-blank. Especially since you also made the point that you and DH had no say in his choice, as PPs, including me, have already discussed. I'm not saying thatt you meant it that way, just that she could easily take it that way.

 

You say that she was the one who "had the doubt" at the start of the marriage, not you. But I'm still getting the feeling that b4 they were married - or perhaps, b4 they were engaged - there was another girl you and DH were admittedly hoping he would wed. Or perhaps you just tried to steer/influence him towards a different type of girl, in some way. Could this be?

 

If so, I get that you probably let that go as soon as he and she got married, if not b4. But she may feel as if it's still there in the back of your minds. Perhaps not. I'm just feeling around for possibilities.

 

Regardless, I'm glad the 2 of you can talk like that. And I hope you continue to see them and GS fairly frequently.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sunshine, you mention that she hurt you by bringing up something you had already dealt with. Generally speaking - if it keeps coming up - not everyone agrees that it is dealt with. My dh asked me one time why I kept bringing up this one occurrence any time we had a debate/discussion/fight whatever you want to call it. He said he thought that we had already dealt with it. My response "We didn't deal with it, we swept it under the rug and pretended like it wasn't there. But we didn't deal with it. If we had dealt with it, I wouldn't keep bringing it up." 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to let you all know. That Saturday, THEY called and came over for a later in the evening visit. We had a nice one, like NOTHING every happened. Like I thought I didn't expect this text thing to make it worse.

 

She really notices this time and last how the baby just laughs so much with my husband!!! So, cute. And how my husband just beams when they play etc. She comments how baby just laughs when he sees Grandpa. Their hair is looking alike right now. Very cute!!

 

Yes, I thought the I love you issue was dealt with. I expressed how I felt and she seemed to agree, at the time we talked about it in person.  IF it wasn't better for her, I would think she would have brought it up sooner. I am sure it hurts her that I don't have those feelings, BUT I have never said that I would NEVER love her. She said she feels like it will never happen. Well, why is it OK for her to ASSUME or EXPECT an outcome, when we have no idea. I can't assume how being a Grandparent is going to be like. 

 

The compliments have been about how well they are doing, independence and preventing pregnancy. Very big ones. That is what made her say Thank you and then I told her that I needed to let out how I felt and then I said whenever she has something to express too do it. . Then she did.

 

Also yesterday, my husband had his first drag race and he has been working very hard on the car and had some major set backs but got the car running. On Saturday, also our son ASKED if he could help load the car, we wanted to wait until morning due to rain. But, he ASKED...Then both of them text through out the day to see how he was doing. VERY thoughtful. We wished they were there, but the weather was so so and its very loud so didn't expect them to take the baby.  But, they kept connected through the phone. Which means A LOT...

 

We had no one picked out for our son to marry. He didn't date a lot. It is who he wants to be with not us. DIL is very set in her ways, loud and gets to the point. BUT, on the other side very doubtful and thinks everyone is out to get her. By a  look, comment, NO COMMENT etc. I have no idea how to deal with a person like that. So, this has been a learning process.  

 

With me writing the text it was shortened and hard to explain everything to you guys. . But, of course my flaws showed up the most. BUT, now some see she has issues herself. 

 

I am the one that brings up issues when they seem to not go away. I want them to be fixed or understood its the way it will be. She  pulls away and doesn't get deep to try to work it out. It may get messy, but there is a high chance we can understand each other. 

 

So, I just wanted to tell you they came to us. Would have visited longer than we did but it was late at night and everyone was tired. But, a visit is a visit and this one and the text Sunday were excellent. 

Edited by BlueEyedGirl
to meet GPs.com standards

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Locking for review.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please continue with the conversation - but remember our TOS and Posting Guidelines. 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes, I thought the I love you issue was dealt with. I expressed how I felt and she seemed to agree, at the time we talked about it in person. IF it wasn't better for her, I would think she would have brought it up sooner. I am sure it hurts her that I don't have those feelings, BUT I have never said that I would NEVER love her. She said she feels like it will never happen. Well, why is it OK for her to ASSUME or EXPECT an outcome, when we have no idea.

She has significant self esteem issues. What you said, however clear, is not what she heard. You said "I can't say I love you". What she heard was "You don't love me, so you'll never love me and wish your son hadn't married me". The two of you have very different communication styles and need to find something that works for you both.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sunshine, I see where you might be sabatoging a good relationship over some resentments building up.  When you say DIL "should" text pics. as a compromise you arent compromising.  Facebook does act as a text for a lot of phones now, this in her eyes may be compromise.  

 

I tried my hardest to balance all friends, families etc.  it was nothing short of exhausting.  mother in law wanted weekly lunches, dinners when DD was born but it had to be her plan, her way, etc.  If we asked for babysitting, join us in daily activities i was met with silence.  We both had expectations mine being that she would appreciate being apart of her daily life, and her that her plans were the ones that we did no matter what.  Then she would complain we never involved her in anything.  It was exhausting so I pulled back, because its not about her.  Its about our new little family together.  

 

If she is including you in weekly events etc. and you are all about being apart of the babies life rather than vice versa.  That, in my opinion, is great.  Please listen to what others are say about facebook.  It is where your DIL is posting everything.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course she has issues, she is 21, she just had a baby, and newly married i assume.  and she is after all a flawed human.  The thing is, let her navigate that in a safe place.  And if you said you dont love her etc.  She may not feel you are very safe.  I can only assume she is seeking approval in all she does, as that age is about that.  The thing is to encourage who she is as a mom, not her birth control options.  You said that she is strong willed, and difficult to figure out.  You will just wear yourself out and she will feel you are trying to manipulate her if you are trying to figure her out.  

 

Its good you are seeking to connect and having a healthy relationship.  Keep listening to her, be a safe place. and never.ever. old anything she has told you against her...ever.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Once a week isn't bad.  Did you spend more than once a week with them before the baby was born?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/3/2017 at 3:00 AM, wilson236mw said:

Once a week isn't bad.  Did you spend more than once a week with them before the baby was born?  

Welcome! Glad you came in to talk w/ us!

However, we generally ask members not to post in threads that are more than 3 months old, unless they're the OP (original poster) or it's a "stickypost"/ thread pinned (thumb tack icon) to the front of the forum  Since this is a very old thread, I'm going to lock it down. If you look around, I'm sure you can find more recent threads to post in. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.