• Announcements

    • LatoyaADMIN

      What to do if you get a "Wrong Password" message   01/21/16

      You must reset your password (even if you know it's the right one) before you can sign into the community. Thanks to the upgrade, there's an issue with passwords and signing in. The good news is that you can click here: http://community.grandparents.com/index.php?/lostpassword/ to change your password (it'll let you reuse your old one). If you can't reach the email address connected to your account then please contact the admin at latoya@grandparents.com and I'll help you sort it out. 
    • LatoyaADMIN

      Anonymous posting is back   01/21/16

      We've removed the extra step that required you to go to the full-page editor to access the anonymous post option. Now, you can reply to a post and toggle the button to post anonymous (see photo below).    Read more on anonymous posting here:    In short, the mods can see who posts as anonymous, we moderate anonymous posts the same as revealed posts, you can reply anonymously to your own topic, you may report anonymous posts.
RoseRed135

Do you have "toxic inlaws?" - Part 2: "Engulfers"

73 posts in this topic

16 hours ago, Cupcake55 said:

I quit responding to FIL a couple of years ago. I got tired of the circles and accusations, and repetition of this whole situation. I don't like sounding like a broken record. I used to wave and or stop for FIL. I don't anymore. I don't wave or stop for MIL. I'm childish that way. They've hurt my family too deeply so I just act like I don't see or hear them. Yes, that could compound the problem. ODD won't even look in their direction. They were jerks to their faces, they can apologize to their faces. No need to stop and take ODD or DH to the lions den. If they have something to say, they know how to contact us, where to find us....

Sorry; going on and on. Saw FIL yesterday for the first time in a very long time, on the road. Guess I needed to open this wound to be able to close it again.

Cupcake, I don't think you're being childish (hopefully, you said that w/ a little sarcasm). Can't blame you for not wanting to greet people who hurt your family.  I wouldn't either. Why should you be friendly to people who have caused pain to your DD and DH?

No worries about going "on and on." You didn't. And anyway, I'm glad it helps to talk about it here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Cupcake55 said:

This whole situation would be "fixed" if WE would just GET OVER IT, forget about it and move on, allowing them to continue with their behavior, no matter how negative and hurtful it might be. It wasn't hurtful to them so it must be us.

My ILs have the same attitude: "We just want to move forward." What they don't want to do is acknowledge their mistakes or apologize. They expect us to forget their offensive behaviour, hug and move on. And as you say, allow the behaviour to repeat. 

If we dare to confront them, they self/righteously deny our feelings and our perceptions, and then use the like to point the finger at us. For instance, if we express that we feel disrespected by them, MIL immediately becomes the victim, and we've been disrespectful of her. If we express anger, well, they are more angry. So their feelings and perceptions trump ours every time.

Like your MIL, my MIL also cut herself off from our family after she was called her out on some of her behaviour. I'm not sure if this applies to your MIL, but in my MIL's case, she is very defensive of any criticism, and she will avoid admitting fault at all costs. Instead, she retreats and sacrifices the relationships she claims are so important. I think she truly believes she is punishing us by cutting off contact. 

As for the apology, I personally think I'm better of without one. Because for my ILs, an apology would come with an expectation to go back to how things were before. But that horse has left the barn, so to speak. What I've realized is that, while it's what DH is waiting for an apology to make everything okay, it really won't, at least not for me. I actually hope it they don't, because then I'll feel obligated to re-engage with people whose behaviour is IMO unlikely to change.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, RoseRed135 said:

Cupcake, I don't think you're being childish (hopefully, you said that w/ a little sarcasm). Can't blame you for not wanting to greet people who hurt your family.  I wouldn't either. Why should you be friendly to people who have caused pain to your DD and DH?

No worries about going "on and on." You didn't. And anyway, I'm glad it helps to talk about it here.

Thank you!

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Parenting3 said:

My ILs have the same attitude: "We just want to move forward." What they don't want to do is acknowledge their mistakes or apologize. They expect us to forget their offensive behaviour, hug and move on. And as you say, allow the behaviour to repeat. Same. We have explained many times how just because they don't think they hurt anyone, their actions did and for us the pain is very real. DH has even told them, in this situation, I am not your son. I am my daughter's father and protector and addresses them by name not mom and dad so they got the point. They just think we are all kids so our feelings don't matter. They are the parents so what they say is all that matters.

If we dare to confront them, they self/righteously deny our feelings and our perceptions, and then use the like to point the finger at us. For instance, if we express that we feel disrespected by them, MIL immediately becomes the victim, and we've been disrespectful of her. If we express anger, well, they are more angry. So their feelings and perceptions trump ours every time. Same. We've explained they don't get to have hurt feelings because of their actions, as they are adults, not kids. ODD is the only one allowed to have hurt feelings in this situation.

Like your MIL, my MIL also cut herself off from our family after she was called her out on some of her behaviour. I'm not sure if this applies to your MIL, but in my MIL's case, she is very defensive of any criticism, and she will avoid admitting fault at all costs. Instead, she retreats and sacrifices the relationships she claims are so important. I think she truly believes she is punishing us by cutting off contact. Exactly! All of this. Plus she has made the whole family CO us as well. DH's brothers won't have anything to do with us for fear of angering mommy.

As for the apology, I personally think I'm better of without one. Because for my ILs, an apology would come with an expectation to go back to how things were before. But that horse has left the barn, so to speak. What I've realized is that, while it's what DH is waiting for an apology to make everything okay, it really won't, at least not for me. I actually hope it they don't, because then I'll feel obligated to re-engage with people whose behaviour is IMO unlikely to change.

 

I think we have the same MIL. I am not hopeful for an apology. Quite frankly, I am enjoying the peace of not having to be around them. IF there was one, the relationship would never, could never be the same, not even between them and DH. No matter what their expectations were, not going to happen. MIL also convinced the rest of the IL's to CO us also so why would we want to be around people who have not even tried to connect with us and have believed PIL's lies. Nope. FIL is the ONLY one who has even attempted to talk to us, granted it is always on his terms, "get over it" but still he is the ONLY one who has even tried. It would never be the same again with any of the IL's. They couldn't apologize enough for us to go back to what was. Plus, we are not interested in what was. At this point, DH alone would have to figure out if he even wanted a relationship with them. Maybe a VLC one moving forward. One very small step at a time. Me, kids, not interested AT ALL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Hi ladies.

I'm new here. I've read this forum for months, so I feel like I already know most of you, LOL.  I'm a DIL, been with my husband for 4 years. My PIL's are definitely engulfers, and it's only gotten worse over time, almost unbearable currently.

I'm naturally a private, pulled back person who takes a long time to warm up to people - and that's if I like them and have chemistry with them.

I don't like my PILs, I never have. They ar loud, obnoxious, swear a lot, make dirty jokes, and insist that I become one of them. They have never learned to accept who I am and my boundaries are constantly ignored. MIL used to insist that we go shopping together, get manicures etc but I turned her down time after time because I don't want that kind of relationship. She has relented on the private invites alone, but they still want us to do "couple" things with them. Honestly, I would rather have my teeth pulled.

My husband and I used to see them on a weekly basis. I've never expressed my dislike of them to them, and always accompany my husband. He appreciates it, and he knows the depth of my dislike of PILs interfering nature. This past year has been very busy for us. I have a demanding job, and he has long hours, and works almost every Saturday. Sunday is the only day we get to spend quality time together, and we mutually decided to cut back on the PIL visits to once every 2-3 weeks. Personally, I think this is reasonable for people I don't like and who make me feel uncomfortable. I am also pregnant, due in August. My in laws have always called and texted incessantly, even though I have always ignored calls and texts and told my husband to get in touch with them. Lately, they are being extra annoying. My first trimester I recieved daily "how are you" texts from MIL, until i told her that I'm not dying and unless she stops asking me every day, I will block her number. She stopped, but still she will send a weekly text asking. It always goes unanswered, because I don't think she deserves a response when she so clearly disregards my wishes.

Whenever we see them, if we share any of our plans, like buying a stroller or our plans for the summer, they will ramp up texts and links about the subjects. They treat us like children who can't book their own trips, and it drives me up the wall. MIL had several times mentioned that she's unhappy with the fact that they "never see us anymore", which is ridiculous. My own parents live an hour away, and we only see them every 2-3 months. My parents are completely okay with that, and don't put demands on our time. MIL always wants us to tag along to parties with their friends, extended family dinners, want to go bowling, want to travel with us etc. We have made no secret of telling them we will never have time for those things because we reserve those things to with our friends, and we only travel alone, but it doesn't seem to deter them from STILL always talking about these things. All they have done is drive us further away. My husband is sick and tired of them and their treatment of us as if we are an extension of them, and I'm dreading their presence when our daughter is born. I know we will see them even less, and I really want to draw some harder lines with them, without cutting them off or creating negativity between us. My MIL is very handsy with both our dog and cat, she will grab them and babytalk to them until they scratch or try to bite her. There is no doubt in my mind she will be a babygrabber, and I know it will cause issues.

My husband and I have agreed to not share any info in the future about upcoming trips or items we want to buy, because we can't deal with their advice and "helpful" unsolicited input. We will keep conversations short, neutral and uninvolved. It's sad that the situation has escalated to this. The more we try to pull back, the crazier they become. What can we do to make them realize they need to tone down their expectations?

I've had a couple blowups with MIL in the past so I am capable of expressing myself harshly, I just really want to avoid that because I don't need the stress her emotional breakdowns will cause me.

I should mention my husband is 100% on board with me. We agree on everything regarding the PILs and I'm not forcing anything on him. A few times he's had sitdowns alone with them about our boundaries, because I want to stay out of it, but PILs always take offense that I don't participate in face to face arguments "since I have so many opinions". After every sit-down, whatever boundaries they do respect, they find new ones to cross. 

Edited by Bluesdetoi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome bluesdetoi.  I am so sorry you haven't been able to curb your ILs objectionable actions.  Good luck with trying "to draw some harder lines with them, without cutting them off or creating negativity between us". 

In the 35 years I had to deal with my MIL, I never did figure that out.  Maybe drop the rope and have your hubby deal totally with her, especially with the baby coming.

Congratulations!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Welcome Bluesdetoi! And congratulations on the coming baby!

I'm sorry, too, that your ILs persist in crossing your boundaries. At first, I admit, I thought perhaps MIL just tries too hard. MILs are often advised to try to develop a relationship w/ DIL, so I thought maybe that's what she's been doing, first w/ the "private invites" and then the "'couple'" ones. But as I read on about their several efforts to interfere in your and DH's decisions, their continued "tag along" invites, despite your clear explanation that you "will never have time for: those activities, and MIL's grabbiness, etc, I realized it goes way beyond that. Not to mention your comment on the "When did you know..." thread about MIL's  persisting to buy you outfits that you don't wear and are, quite obviously, not your style!

... I really want to draw some harder lines with them, without cutting them off or creating negativity between us. 

This^^^^ is almost impossible, IMO. After all, you've already set boundaries (which they mostly ignore). Also, there is already some "negativity between" you - they've been complaining that they "never see (your) anymore." Plus you "don't like" them and "never have." If you "draw" any "harder lines," there is bound to be some more negativity, at least for a while. All I can say to that is, expect them to push back, but stick firmly to your guns.

My husband and I have agreed to not share any info in the future about upcoming trips or items we want to buy, because we can't deal with their advice and "helpful" unsolicited input. We will keep conversations short, neutral and uninvolved.

This^^^^ is very wise, IMO. They will likely push and pry for more info, at first, though. You'll have to be prepared, I think, w/ some handy phrases, such as, "Everything's fine," "Nothing's new" and if/when necessary, "Nice talking to you! Gotta go now!"

....we mutually decided to cut back on the PIL visits to once every 2-3 weeks.

Another wise idea ^^^ for more than practical reasons. If seeing them this much is stressing you out, you may need to cut back further now (not just after baby is born, as you mention) or stop accompanying DH. It's lovely that "he appreciates" your going, but you both have to think of your coming baby's welfare now. Either way, your ILs will complain, but you need to do what's best for you and baby.

Overall, as Sue says, I hope you drop that rope and have DH deal w/ your ILs entirely.

Wishing you an easy pregnancy and delivery! :give_rose:

Edited by RoseRed135
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks ladies for your replies!

Sue, about dropping the rope - I really feel like I have except for the visits that I join my husband for, or when they visit us. This is the absolutely only thing I participate in, and I have a hard time doing a complete cut-off. I mean, as annoying and intruding they are, my PILs are not bad people. They are not hateful, racist, rude etc. I guess I feel like it would be shitty of me to even cancel visits, because it seems like an extreme solution. 

What I can do, is make sure MY visits are even rarer. I know my husband will be faced with a lot of "why is bluesdetoi not here", but it might be the best thing for now, especially for creating new habits and getting them used to more distance before the baby. 

I do want them to have a relationship with my child, but I need this to be on my terms, otherwise I'm afraid we will damage the relationship beyond repair.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome @Bluesdetoi. Just be on the lookout for your PIL's expectations when the baby comes. Start getting your ducks in a row now. Register as private for your hospital stay (that way they can't access any information you or DH don't specifically provide). DO NOT, under any circumstances let them know when you go to the hospital. The easiest boundary to stomp is the "waiting room warrior". Have DH make it clear to them than once your daughter has arrived they will be notified. And be specific about visitors. Have him make sure they understand that there are no visitors until you (the patient/new mother) are ready. Whether your mom is with you at the time has no bearing on whether MIL gets an extra privilege or not; this is about your needs not her expectations or definition of "fair". And be prepared to be honest....if its time for visitors to leave, ask them to leave. Or leave instructions with the nursing staff to clear the room after 15 minutes. 

Same for when you get home. See how you feel, what you want and how to manage your own experience FIRST.

5 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Mame for the warning. About registering private - in my country that kind of information is always private and not given out, so that's not a concern for me. FIL already said "just so you know, we'll be in the waiting room all night before the baby comes". I told him that's funny since we won't be telling anyone when I go into labor, so how will he know when to show up? That made him quiet up, I'm sure he never even considerd it a possibility that they aren't welcome. Again, it's not out of malice, but they have never heard of boundaries, it's such a foreign concept to them. 

People don't know my due date, I've only given them the month, because I want to avoid the "did you give birth yet?!" texts.

My own mother will also not be there, I'm insanely private, and I don't want my mom to see me naked. We also won't have anyone visit at the hospital, but will welcome closest family for short visits when we settle in at home.

I usually think I'm a fairly honest and frank person, but I really don't like rejecting people and this whole issue with my inlaws always makes me feel like the bad guy, it's such a struggle for me. 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Bluesdetoi said:

Thanks Mame for the warning. About registering private - in my country that kind of information is always private and not given out, so that's not a concern for me. FIL already said "just so you know, we'll be in the waiting room all night before the baby comes". I told him that's funny since we won't be telling anyone when I go into labor, so how will he know when to show up? That made him quiet up, I'm sure he never even considerd it a possibility that they aren't welcome. Again, it's not out of malice, but they have never heard of boundaries, it's such a foreign concept to them. 

People don't know my due date, I've only given them the month, because I want to avoid the "did you give birth yet?!" texts.

My own mother will also not be there, I'm insanely private, and I don't want my mom to see me naked. We also won't have anyone visit at the hospital, but will welcome closest family for short visits when we settle in at home.

I usually think I'm a fairly honest and frank person, but I really don't like rejecting people and this whole issue with my inlaws always makes me feel like the bad guy, it's such a struggle for me. 

Not to put stress on you, but it sounds like your IL's are the type who would call the hospital every day of the month you are due just to find out if you are there. Once you get home from the hospital and start accepting people you may want to have a back up plan in case they don't abide by your wishes and leave when asked. After all, you will be captive. Consider meeting them away from your home so you can leave when you feel the need and then you won't have to kick them out of the house and them not wanting to leave. Once they know you are ready for visitors you can expect them to show up uninvited regularly. You do not have to answer the door just because they show up.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There were a few days early on what I was so done...I picked up my baby and went upstairs...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you ( general) truly don't get along with your inlaws, or like them, there's no need to bother with them- Any act beyond distance is passive aggressive and think of all the time you (general) will save hoping they will change- Get on with your (general) lives- If you can't be in their company and be yourself as well as be civil, at the very least, no sense in pretending beyond that- They'll get the message- It's the most loving avenue anyone can take- They're people, and like all people they're flawed-  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Bluesdetoi said:

Thanks Mame for the warning. About registering private - in my country that kind of information is always private and not given out, so that's not a concern for me. FIL already said "just so you know, we'll be in the waiting room all night before the baby comes". I told him that's funny since we won't be telling anyone when I go into labor, so how will he know when to show up? That made him quiet up, I'm sure he never even considerd it a possibility that they aren't welcome. Again, it's not out of malice, but they have never heard of boundaries, it's such a foreign concept to them. 

People don't know my due date, I've only given them the month, because I want to avoid the "did you give birth yet?!" texts.

My own mother will also not be there, I'm insanely private, and I don't want my mom to see me naked. We also won't have anyone visit at the hospital, but will welcome closest family for short visits when we settle in at home.

I usually think I'm a fairly honest and frank person, but I really don't like rejecting people and this whole issue with my inlaws always makes me feel like the bad guy, it's such a struggle for me. 

Glad you and DH already have a plan in place to try to ensure the degree of privacy you want!

As for feeling 'like the bad guy," trust me, that's not unusual. Setting boundaries w/ people who don't understand or accept them is often uncomfortable, especially if they get tend to get defensive when they can't have their way. But sometimes they can't, of course, and you and DH need to be firm, IMO, no matter how weird or awkward it feels. Maybe it will help to think of it as practice for when you two have to be the "bad guys" w/ your child someday.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Cupcake55 said:

Not to put stress on you, but it sounds like your IL's are the type who would call the hospital every day of the month you are due just to find out if you are there. Once you get home from the hospital and start accepting people you may want to have a back up plan in case they don't abide by your wishes and leave when asked. After all, you will be captive. Consider meeting them away from your home so you can leave when you feel the need and then you won't have to kick them out of the house and them not wanting to leave. Once they know you are ready for visitors you can expect them to show up uninvited regularly. You do not have to answer the door just because they show up.

Good ideas, IMO! But @Bluesdetoi if anyone ever has to "kick them out of the house," I think it should be DH who does it. Not saying it will be easy for him - they're his parents, after all. But he won't be the one who just gave birth. And people often seem to take this kind of thing better from their own AC than their CIL.

3 hours ago, Mame925 said:

There were a few days early on what I was so done...I picked up my baby and went upstairs...

 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Cupcake55 said:

Not to put stress on you, but it sounds like your IL's are the type who would call the hospital every day of the month you are due just to find out if you are there. Once you get home from the hospital and start accepting people you may want to have a back up plan in case they don't abide by your wishes and leave when asked. After all, you will be captive. Consider meeting them away from your home so you can leave when you feel the need and then you won't have to kick them out of the house and them not wanting to leave. Once they know you are ready for visitors you can expect them to show up uninvited regularly. You do not have to answer the door just because they show up.

I'm actually fairly certain they wouldn't do that. They never show up uninvited after we discussed that boundary years ago. 

However, they do have a tendency to linger during visits. I've decided that while I'm on maternity (first 8 months), I will not have them visit unless my husband is there to support me and kick them out when needed. 

Then, when DH goes on parental leave the next 4 months, he can visit with them as he pleases, as long as they're not bothering my baby's sleeping schedule. I trust that my husband will tell them off as he sees fit.

3 hours ago, Komorebi said:

If you ( general) truly don't get along with your inlaws, or like them, there's no need to bother with them- Any act beyond distance is passive aggressive and think of all the time you (general) will save hoping they will change- Get on with your (general) lives- If you can't be in their company and be yourself as well as be civil, at the very least, no sense in pretending beyond that- They'll get the message- It's the most loving avenue anyone can take- They're people, and like all people they're flawed-  

Not even, just to keep some level of peace with the future grandparents of my kids? My in-laws in particular are not evil or bad people, they're just annoying, obnoxious and boundary stomping. I don't think it's passive aggressive to grin and bear every now and again, in spite of our personality clashes and their need to be needed. I CAN be in their company and be civil, I've been doing it for years. We're just trying to stop the demands on our time. I realize I will never love them or even like them that much, but if we were able to get to a point where they're not infringing on our decisions and time, I really wouldn't mind a regular dinner with them. 

I mean, I have lots of colleagues with whom I have civil relationships, even though we're not friendly. I don't see why that also couldn't be possible with people in our personal lives.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, RoseRed135 said:

Glad you and DH already have a plan in place to try to ensure the degree of privacy you want!

As for feeling 'like the bad guy," trust me, that's not unusual. Setting boundaries w/ people who don't understand or accept them is often uncomfortable, especially if they get tend to get defensive when they can't have their way. But sometimes they can't, of course, and you and DH need to be firm, IMO, no matter how weird or awkward it feels. Maybe it will help to think of it as practice for when you two have to be the "bad guys" w/ your child someday.

 

 

You know its funny how societal norms will make you feel guilty for having a set of rules for how YOU want to be treated. It's such a ludicrous sentiment if you think about it because it should be the most natural thing in the world to us all. Instead we're told to be people pleasers, to always be NICE and to avoid conflict at all costs, even if being nice sacrifices what you believe in. I was, anyway. My parents thought it was very important what the outside world thought, and God forbid anyone said they had bad kids. We were always taught to he obedient and nice, and to this day it sticks sometimes. I'm really going to try to teach my child that they don't have to do anything that makes them uncomfortable, ever. To trust their gut and their feelings about what's wrong and what's right for THEM. Not for the whole world.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ding, ding, ding! My ILs are Engulfers.

One frustration I had with Susan Forward's book is that it didn't also address siblings-in-law. My SILs used to be terrible Engulfers, too.

Trying to lay claim to every single holiday. Expecting us to maintain and/or repair PILs' home. Expecting we would come to every event/activity, and when we couldn't, there were heaps of guilt. Over sharing with us, involving us in their finances, and the PILs would complain about each other to DH and me.

They would actually say to me, early on in my marriage, and usually after they did something weird or odd, "Ha ha! Welcome to the faaaaamily!" As if I was supposed to morph into one of them.

Oh, and the constant advice, criticism, and the micromanagement at each event, especially if it involved gifts. MIL, FIL and OSIL pressuring us to have kids as though it was our civic duty. The constant phone calls, where frequently, MIL would complain I never called her and she didn't feel cloooooose enough to me.

Now, 17 years later and lots of fights, tears and therapy later, and now that DH has not only communicated but enforced boundaries, my PILs have backed waaaay off and become more respectful. YSIL is great, and OSIL is barely in the picture.

Proof of improvement: I actually suggested lunch with PILs recently. At a restaurant, of course. And it was actually nice! And the first time I had seen them in about four months, I should add. There are still invitations to do things, but not a hint of guilt when we turn them down. It's a good thing. I hope it lasts.

Well, perhaps I'm over exaggerating the situation, too-- they're all still BSC, but we're better at recognizing it and shutting it down or deciding we'll just turn a blind eye for the moment since we see them so rarely now. It's a lot more tolerable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

9 hours ago, Bluesdetoi said:

Not even, just to keep some level of peace with the future grandparents of my kids? My in-laws in particular are not evil or bad people, they're just annoying, obnoxious and boundary stomping. I don't think it's passive aggressive to grin and bear every now and again, in spite of our personality clashes and their need to be needed. I CAN be in their company and be civil, I've been doing it for years. We're just trying to stop the demands on our time. I realize I will never love them or even like them that much, but if we were able to get to a point where they're not infringing on our decisions and time, I really wouldn't mind a regular dinner with them. 

I mean, I have lots of colleagues with whom I have civil relationships, even though we're not friendly. I don't see why that also couldn't be possible with people in our personal lives.

9 hours ago, Bluesdetoi said:

 

Me, personally, I'm not so sure that grinning and bearing will teach children not to be people pleasers- My own preference is to compromise and make sacrifices when need be, tailored to the individual person and/or specific circumstance when issues arise- However,  I do expect to be offered the same courtesy in return- If and when that doesn't work, neither does the relationship "at that time"- I've discovered it isn't my cup of tea, or a relationship I personally wish to engage in, when another wants to call all the shots all the time- I'm not saying they aren't certainly within their rights to, but that I certainly have to the right to not play that game- It isn't against any moral code to simply leave people alone -- for how ever long or indefinitely- When people care about each other they work something out eventually-

Edited by Komorebi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When people care about each other   ^^^^^

I think this is "the key".  In a lot of these toxic relationships, there is no 'caring about each other'...but simply tolerating until you can't anymore.

 

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Bluesdetoi said:

and I don't want my mom to see me naked.

Funny thing about having a baby....The entire 3rd Army could march thru that room while you are naked and you won't care a bit.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, oscarsmaman said:

They would actually say to me, early on in my marriage, and usually after they did something weird or odd, "Ha ha! Welcome to the faaaaamily!" As if I was supposed to morph into one of them.

Ugh, this hit close to home for me. I still hear this. Whenever my IL's are told something isn't their business, they go "well that's how we do in our family, everything is off limits to you! Get used to it hee hee hee". 

I didn't JOIN their family, I started my own family, thank you very much and I'll never get used to the way you people operate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Mame925 said:

Funny thing about having a baby....The entire 3rd Army could march thru that room while you are naked and you won't care a bit.

LOL its very possible that in the moment I would not mind, and I suspect you're right, but I would regret is soooo much afterwards, that's why I'm making sure I'm not in that situation in the first place! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Bluesdetoi said:

LOL its very possible that in the moment I would not mind, and I suspect you're right, but I would regret is soooo much afterwards, that's why I'm making sure I'm not in that situation in the first place! 

A friend of mine delivered at a major teaching hospital...you can imagine the crowd attending the birth. 41 years later she just laughs about it. And she's one of those people who believe appearance is everything. So there she was, huge, blotchy and mean....with cute interns & residents everywhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, oscarsmaman said:

Ding, ding, ding! My ILs are Engulfers.

One frustration I had with Susan Forward's book is that it didn't also address siblings-in-law. My SILs used to be terrible Engulfers, too.

Trying to lay claim to every single holiday. Expecting us to maintain and/or repair PILs' home. Expecting we would come to every event/activity, and when we couldn't, there were heaps of guilt. Over sharing with us, involving us in their finances, and the PILs would complain about each other to DH and me.

They would actually say to me, early on in my marriage, and usually after they did something weird or odd, "Ha ha! Welcome to the faaaaamily!" As if I was supposed to morph into one of them.

Oh, and the constant advice, criticism, and the micromanagement at each event, especially if it involved gifts. MIL, FIL and OSIL pressuring us to have kids as though it was our civic duty. The constant phone calls, where frequently, MIL would complain I never called her and she didn't feel cloooooose enough to me.

Now, 17 years later and lots of fights, tears and therapy later, and now that DH has not only communicated but enforced boundaries, my PILs have backed waaaay off and become more respectful. YSIL is great, and OSIL is barely in the picture.

Proof of improvement: I actually suggested lunch with PILs recently. At a restaurant, of course. And it was actually nice! And the first time I had seen them in about four months, I should add. There are still invitations to do things, but not a hint of guilt when we turn them down. It's a good thing. I hope it lasts.

Well, perhaps I'm over exaggerating the situation, too-- they're all still BSC, but we're better at recognizing it and shutting it down or deciding we'll just turn a blind eye for the moment since we see them so rarely now. It's a lot more tolerable.

I never saw PIL's as engulfers but they are like this. Not sure if expected because we lived the closest or what but BILs were never expected at EVERY event, just us. BUT MIL also expected ME to set the date, time, food, etc....for bdays, get togethers and all the details for actual Holidays. I don't recall her ever asking SILs at least she never said SIL A said or wants blah, blah...SIL B wants, says, whatever...


We didn't know they'd get angry because we never told them NO until we HAD to as kids got older, we got more commitments, life, etc., the relationship changed. Now (for the past few years) when told NO, FIL gets angry. No idea what MIL's reaction is as she doesn't talk to us any more.

Glad you've had some improvement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now