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RoseRed135

The MAIN cause of family rifts - Is the verdict in?

141 posts in this topic

Skipped, I really, really, REALLY would love if you could explain to me how I am restricting his visitation. He actually started visiting her without me on his own for several months, I didn't see her from September til May. All I asked was for him to keep doing what he was already doing on his own. He sees her every 4-6 weeks, which is what he has generally done since  we've been together. She sees the kids as well, and whenever he's had to travel to see her by himself to help her with something I've supported that and will continue to do so.

And yes, if my DH bailed on a family event for my Dad's FOO I actually wouldn't care, because I realize forcing him into it will strain my marriage more than telling my family "DH couldn't make it."

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I remember the topic of 'duty visits' on the forum. Some folks were saying that they wanted to be visited b/c of a desire to see them, not obligation or duty.

Seems that insisting a spouse visit someone they don't enjoy = duty/obligation.

So why the contradiction?

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Duty visits vs NEVER visiting.

I see it as something you do for your spouse,  It has nothing to do with the parent.  Just like my tree.  It had nothing to do with my mother- it just happened to be her tree.  Spending 2 hours at a BD party for someone who is not your cup of tea is something you do for your spouse. 

As a spouse- I'm OK with avoiding.  I'm just not OK with out and out refusing for no good reason, Not my cup of tea is not a good reason for an occasional visit.  It's not like I'm asking all the time.   As a parent- I don't want my children to do duty visiting.  But I would have to wonder if they couldn't come to my 90th birthday party for 2 hours, if I even have a relationship with them.  I personally would be OK with the ILs not showing up.  But, as an AC/ spouse it would make me sad (like DM husband says- he's sad about the whole thing) that my spouse wouldn't suck it up for 2 hours to visit an annoying but not toxic mother for me.  Again this person is not toxic.  It doesn't seem to me that mr new mama thinks his mother is toxic either.

Edited by skipped
typos

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47 minutes ago, ImpishMom said:

I'm not New Mama, but yes, I'd be ok with my spouse not wanting to go to a birthday party. He has the right to not want to spend time w/someone who he dislikes. I respect his autonomy. Just b/c I'm related to/like someone doesn't mean he has to.

I'm not a fan of making my spouse miserable if it can be avoided. Not forcing him to attend social events comes under that heading, b/c there's not a social event I can think of that's 'mandatory'. I wouldn't enjoy attending a party if I knew my husband was suffering through it.

Yep. ^  My husband will hang with my family, but when he's done, he's done. IF I ask if he wants to do-go-see my FOO and he says "no thanks" I assume he's a grown adult with his own mind and wishes.

Makes total sense to me that my FOO and all the associated circus act of my FOO, are not his buddies.

ETA:  I much prefer my husband's happiness over my FOOs happiness quotient.

Our ACIL are not people I check off an attendance list. I am polite, gracious, kind, but I surely don't give a flying frog if they are here, life is considerably easier without worrying over their preferences.

ETA: Rose, to the below, that's just ridiculous and my answer would be "so what, live in reality".

Edited by JanelleK
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4 hours ago, JanelleK said:

I'd say the bolded about sums it all up. I don't know many people who actually care if the ILs are in their lives. Usually parents of AC, in my experience, only care about their kids and grandkids staying in contact and are rather ambivalent about the ACIL.

Agreed. But I've seen/heard some MILs complain about their DIL not being there when they visit or not coming w/ DS for visits, even when they get to see their grands (if any). Either they say it's "rude" (feel snubbed?) or they worry that it's the first step towards an overall CO that will, in fact, include DS  the GC. If they feel they've conducted themselves badly, of course, it may be guilt.

@JanelleK - LOL! It may be "ridiculous," but some ILs do seem to feel that way. Whether or not their AC or CIL should concern themselves w/ this is another matter.

My own FOO seemed to resent it if anyone consistently skipped family events. But when DH was the one who passed up certain gatherings (more about that in a post below), I had to learn to let that go. No doubt, I jaded way too much (if only these boards existed back then). But basically, I decided that my DH and my marriage pre-empted any ruffled feathers on the part of my FOO. Easier said than done, though, IMO, and not something everyone can handle.

Edited by RoseRed135

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Doesn't it go back to the fact that invitations are not summons...unless of course I demand my spouse attend with me, then he is being summoned by me not the host of the party.

If someone is attending my party that really chooses not to be here, please keep you and your "wet blanket" at home.

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I'd be curious to see how NewMama is restricting her DH's visits to his mother as well. The key here is that her DH is trying to force her to 'ignore' abusive behavior because "that's just how Mom is, ignore it like I do"...

If you want to raise my hackles, tell me how I feel doesn't matter. Especially coming from the person I'm supposed to be closest too. If you can't trust your DH with your honest feelings, your marriage is at risk. NM has a viable handle on her issue. If her DH want her to be more involved with his mom, then he has to address Mom's behavior toward his wife. It really seems just that simple. 

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But what if we disagree over what is a good reason? I think I've got all kinds of what I feel are very valid reasons to not be around my MIL. My husband actually understands my reasons. But he literally, initially, asked me to pretend those things didn't happen to make his mom happy. Because it's not enough she sees her son and grandkids. 

It's funny, when I was around for visits, she wanted me out of the way. She would be disappointed if I was home when she wasn't expecting me to. She didn't want me in the same room as her and my kids. 

But now that *I* made the decision not to be around her, there's suddenly this urgent push for us to be BFFs. 

Edited by NewMama
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18 minutes ago, NewMama said:

But what if we disagree over what is a good reason? I think I've got all kinds of what I feel are very valid reasons to not be around my MIL. My husband actually understands my reasons. But he literally, initially, asked me to pretend those things didn't happen to make his mom happy. Because it's not enough she sees her son and grandkids. 

It's funny, when I was around for visits, she wanted me out of the way. She would be disappointed if I was home when she wasn't expecting me to. She didn't want me in the same room as her and my kids. 

But now that *I* made the decision not to be around her, there's suddenly this urgent push for us to be BFFs. 

Yep, it's the I thing.  That goes for your husband too,  And anyone really.  People don't like to have things foisted on them,  You wanted me to explain better how you are restricting your husbands visitation.   1) It isn't his idea- you are making him do it  and 2) there is the effects of unintended consequences-  you not being able to visit at times will effect his ability to visit.  He can NEVER visit his mother on a holiday if you don't go.  I know that's what you have been doing.  But now that will never change,  Don't  you see that as a reason to be "sad"

 

ETA- I think you guys give a new definition to yours mine.  Not only don't we plan.  We don't visit.

Edited by skipped

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2 minutes ago, skipped said:

Yep, it's the I thing.  That goes for your husband too,  And anyone really.  People don't like to have things foisted on them,  You wanted me to explain better how you are restricting your husbands visitation.   1) It isn't his idea- you are making him do it  and 2) there is the effects of unintended consequences-  you not being able to visit at times will effect his ability to visit.  He can NEVER visit his mother on a holiday if you don't go.  I know that's what you have been doing.  But now that will never change,  Don't  you see that as a reason to be "sad"

I agree it's the "I Thing"....as in I will no long allow your mother to treat me disrespectfully or dismisssiveluy...especially in front of my children and in my own home....if you want ME to behave differently, the criteria needs to change. 

"Going along to get along" is never beneficial to all parties

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1 minute ago, skipped said:

Yep, it's the I thing.  That goes for your husband too,  And anyone really.  People don't like to have things foisted on them,  You wanted me to explain better how you are restricting your husbands visitation.   1) It isn't his idea- you are making him do it  and 2) there is the effects of unintended consequences-  you not being able to visit at times will effect his ability to visit.  He can NEVER visit his mother on a holiday if you don't go.  I know that's what you have been doing.  But now that will never change,  Don't  you see that as a reason to be "sad"

Again, assuming I said no more holidays ever.  

We don't do most holidays really. No Easter dinners, no Canada Day BBQ s, whatever. We have Thanksgiving at our house, and we host a Christmas dinner at our house. That's it. MIL has turned down invites to those things most of the time. Last year she decided to spend Christmas with her new SO. This year that is the plan. If something happens to her SO before then and she'll be by herself, I told DH I'm willing to host her for Christmas but there will be ground rules in place. He was ok with that. 

I also am not cut off from her. I said I needed a good long TO from her to figure out going forward. And that's what I'm doing. 

And again, who's unintended consequences? Does my MIL NEVER have to face consequences for being such a jerk to me? Does my DH NEVER have to face consequences for telling his wife her feelings don't matter?

DH could fix all of it, in a heartbeat. He's choosing the consequences.

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3 hours ago, skipped said:

How much of the differences in what one person constitute normal is abuse and how much of it is just being raised differently.

I don't think a person has to be abused to have a different sense of normal than their husband/. wife/ IL.  Everyone is raised different.  I look at my 2 DILs (one is a DIL to be), I don't know the specifics on how they were raised but even on the surface they were raised differently that mine were.  DIL #1s family is extremely close knit but they are constantly fueding.  It doesn't take much to make one of them mad and if they are mad they let you know.  You can go to their house and cut the tension with a knife.  They still engage one another if they are mad. ETA-Fortunately though they don't seem to hold grudges.  We are not as close.  We tend to simmer and not complain,  If we were mad we would stay away.  DIL#1's dad works in a factory and her mother is a trucking dispatcher.    The whole family is involved in raising the kids.  They go to all their events, are the babysitters, help financially. But, Her mother has a lot of opinions and so does the aunt.  They aren't shy in pushing them, even at times overriding the mother.  This is not normal to me. 

I don't know DIL #2 family situation very well.  I haven't been around them much.  I know that socioeconomically they have a yacht, the mother stays at home, dad is a doctor, they go out to eat every single night, think it's normal to buy boxes to move (I get them from the grocery store), buy 2 entres at dinner if they decide they don't like the first one, and the Dad and one brother are completely cut off from each other.  Dad goes to "visit" my son and DIL to be a spends the day golfing.  They are very ambitious, are constantly moving.  The oldest child is almost 40 and none of the 5 kids are married.  None of this is normal to me.

My son is not ambitious and hates to move- he gets that from me.  Am I wrong?

My husband and I were raised in much more similar circumstances.  I don't think there was as much discrepancy in what is normal.

No doubt, there are differences that have nothing to do w/ abuse. In my own life, I know DH's FOO and mine enjoyed different levels of socializing. Mine were into frequent get-togethers (of cousins, aunts, uncles, etc.) and large extended family dinners. while his preferred  fewer, smaller and more intimate occasions. At one point, MIL was so non-plussed by the way my FOO did things that she told DH they didn't "know how to handle family," LOL!

Clearly, she didn't see our level of socializing as "normal," and chances are, DH didn't at first either. And I admit, I thought his FOO was "odd' in the social respect, too. But, fortunately, in time, DH and I learned to see our 2 FOOs' ways - as we often say here - as just "different," not "right" or "wrong" - and we made compromises, some of which included my DH not "having" to attend certain events.

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1 minute ago, NewMama said:

Again, assuming I said no more holidays ever.  

We don't do most holidays really. No Easter dinners, no Canada Day BBQ s, whatever. We have Thanksgiving at our house, and we host a Christmas dinner at our house. That's it. MIL has turned down invites to those things most of the time. Last year she decided to spend Christmas with her new SO. This year that is the plan. If something happens to her SO before then and she'll be by herself, I told DH I'm willing to host her for Christmas but there will be ground rules in place. He was ok with that. 

I also am not cut off from her. I said I needed a good long TO from her to figure out going forward. And that's what I'm doing. 

And again, who's unintended consequences? Does my MIL NEVER have to face consequences for being such a jerk to me? Does my DH NEVER have to face consequences for telling his wife her feelings don't matter?

DH could fix all of it, in a heartbeat. He's choosing the consequences.

Maybe I missed it.  How can your husband fix this.  What I've heard from you is that it's too late to fix anything,  You said you didn't see your MIL for 9 months prior to this.  What to you constitutes a good long time out,.

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7 minutes ago, skipped said:

Maybe I missed it.  How can your husband fix this.  What I've heard from you is that it's too late to fix anything,  You said you didn't see your MIL for 9 months prior to this.  What to you constitutes a good long time out,.

You did miss it.  Her DH thinks NM should just rugsweep like he does. That doesn't work for her. He has to address his mother's behavior toward his wife.  And respect his wife's feelings. 

 

Edited by Mame925
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3 minutes ago, skipped said:

Maybe I missed it.  How can your husband fix this.  What I've heard from you is that it's too late to fix anything,  You said you didn't see your MIL for 9 months prior to this.  What to you constitutes a good long time out,.

Maybe MIL ought to just deal w/being sad. Her behaviour has consequences. Why should NewMama protect her MIL from the consequences of her actions?

If NewMama's dh is sad, or whatever, then he needs to take it back to the person that started this particular mess: his mother, by willfully ignoring the death of NewMama's mother, and actually demanding NewMama make HER feel better about being a jerk and doing so.

Why on Earth does a CIL have to protect a PIL from the consequences of their actions? Why should an AC protect a parent from the consequences of their actions?

Further, NewMama stated that her dh has 26 wknds a year to see his mother w/out her. How the heck is that restricting him?

Maybe if NewMama's MIL wanted a relationship w/her DIL, she ought to have behaved decently when NewMama's mother died.

 

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32 minutes ago, NewMama said:

But what if we disagree over what is a good reason? I think I've got all kinds of what I feel are very valid reasons to not be around my MIL. My husband actually understands my reasons. But he literally, initially, asked me to pretend those things didn't happen to make his mom happy. Because it's not enough she sees her son and grandkids. 

It's funny, when I was around for visits, she wanted me out of the way. She would be disappointed if I was home when she wasn't expecting me to. She didn't want me in the same room as her and my kids. 

But now that *I* made the decision not to be around her, there's suddenly this urgent push for us to be BFFs. 

Your MIL sounds like an insecure and immature woman who is emotionally dishonest.  She shows you who she is through her actions which you have to especially look at with people like this as they are not honest in their relationships with others.  She is a manipulative person.  You have called her out on her BS, which she doesn't like, so now she is pushing for BFF status to get you back into her fold, so she can begin another cycle of ignoring you or dismissing you or whatever other pathetic game she plays with you.  Your DH probably wants you to just "ignore it" and continue on, because that is probably what he learned to do a long time ago to deal with her.  Further, he has a different perspective as her son vs. you - just another adult with no foundational relationship with her. 

I completely get why you are doing what you are doing in taking a long TO so you can figure out how to deal with this woman knowing what you know about her.  She is not going to change, not at her age, and the way she goes about playing her petty games.   Change will be on your end and your approach to dealing with her.   

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2 hours ago, ImpishMom said:

Why?

Genuine question, no snark. Why is there an expectation that a spouse will willingly spend time w/inlaws? I don't get the 'matched set' insistence.

....but I've never agreed w/the idea that you marry someone's family when you marry them, so that may be where my lack of understanding stems from.

Not everyone is going to like everyone. Not everyone is going to enjoy someone's company. Seems that forced proximity could also be a huge resentment breeding ground.

TBH, when I was first married, I subscribed to the "matched set" idea. Not b/c I believed that "you marry the family," but b/c I simply thought of husbands and wives as a "package deal" - if DH were attending an event in his FOO, DW went to and vice versa. If there were kids at home and they had no one to watch them, they (the couple) made their excuses and stayed home.

But over the years, I had to let go of that idea a little bit. For one reason, a couple of times we had no one to watch the kids when there was a funeral, and we just felt one of us (the one whose relative had passed) needed to go and pay our respects. Also, as I've said before, DH just didn't really enjoy some of my FOO's large, family bday parties, etc. So I learned to accept his skipping some of them, etc. (For T'giving Dinner, we alternated, as I've said before and Christmas was at our house.)

I did insist on his accompanying me to certain major events in my FOO, such as weddings. But that was more for me than for the couple or my other relatives. I wanted to have my "escort," etc. And though he never said so, I'm sure he expected me to join him for weddings in his FOO (which I did).

So based on my own experience, I think skipped has hit something when she says that sometimes it's about "something (your - general - spouse) is doing for (you)." IMO, that's different than taking your DM's/DF's/FOO's side against your spouse - that's stating your own wants/ needs. The other spouse may still have good reason why they don't want to comply. But I think they need to be careful to note the difference.

2 hours ago, skipped said:

Fist of all I don't think my mother is toxic.  Annoying Yes.  Toxic no.  "Not your cup of tea" is not a reason to INSIST on not going to someone's house.  Avoiding OK.  Insisting No.  If your dads FOO had a big 90th BD party for your GGM would you honestly be OK with him flat out refusing to go??? 

I don't want to force him.  I get it.  No one likes being forced.  But I don't think you realize that you are restricting your husbands visitation.  No matter how you say you are not,  He now HAS to work around you.   ..  We did have a fight about a year ago.  My mother needed a tree cut down,  We are the only ones with a saw.   He didn't want to do it.  In the midst of the fight he said she's not my mother.  I was really mad because there are lots of things I do for him and that this is something he was doing for me that just happened to involve my mother.  I take care of her house and her yard.  That tree is my responsibility.   Later he said he meant he would do it but in his time frame not mine.  That's not what he said but OK.  Last week I said something about cutting down a tree sometime and he actually volunteered to do it.  We did it last week.

 

 

Edited by RoseRed135
to remove redundant question

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40 minutes ago, RoseRed135 said:

TBH, when I was first married, I subscribed to the "matched set" idea. Not b/c I believed that "you marry the family," but b/c I simply thought of husbands and wives as a "package deal" - if DH were attending an event in his FOO, DW went to and vice versa. If there were kids at home and they had no one to watch them, they (the couple) made their excuses and stayed home.

But over the years, I had to let go of that idea a little bit. For one reason, a couple of times we had no one to watch the kids when there was a funeral, and we just felt one of us (the one whose relative had passed) needed to go and pay our respects. Also, as I've said before, DH just didn't really enjoy some of my FOO's large, family bday parties, etc. So I learned to accept his skipping some of them, etc. (For T'giving Dinner, we alternated, as I've said before and Christmas was at our house.)

I did insist on his accompanying me to certain major events in my FOO, such as weddings. But that was more for me than for the couple or my other relatives. I wanted to have my "escort," etc. And though he never said so, I'm sure he expected me to join him for weddings in his FOO (which I did).

So based on my own experience, I think skipped has hit something when she says that sometimes it's about "something (your - general - spouse) is doing for (you)." IMO, that's different than taking your DM's/DF's/FOO's side against your spouse - that's stating your own wants/ needs. The other spouse may still have good reason why they don't want to comply. But I think they need to be careful to note the difference.

 

I agree that there are times you suck it up for your spouse. Part of marriage.

What I don't agree with is the idea that 'it's my family, you have to', or, 'Mom/Dad/Gma will be upset, you have to.'

I respect my husband. He respects me. He deals w/his mother complaining that I refuse to deal w/her by pointing out that she created the situation, live with it. Bowing out of a relationship w/her was the healthiest thing I could do. I didn't go off on her, I didn't insult her, I didn't demand she change. I knew she couldn't/wouldn't, so I stepped away. My husband respects me enough not to demand I be his meat shield and deal w/his mother so she doesn't get upset. He doesn't expect *me* to be upset to please her. I respect him, and that he chooses to have a relationship w/her is completely his business. I support it in the background, as long as I don't have to get involved with her.

Adults are allowed to have boundaries, even within a marriage.

Edited by RoseRed135
to reflect editing of quote
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I asked my DH what he used to do with his parents for fun on the weekends when he was growing up.  He said  that every weekend his mom liked to go to the mall to walk around with him (and his dad and DB).  DH hated it as he liked being outside riding a bike, etc.  I said, why didn't you tell your mom that you hated it and you didn't want to go.  He said he did but still they went as it was about what she wanted.  He learned very early on to just put up and shut up, which explained in part why he grew up to be an accommodator when it came to what his parent's wanted as his needs didn't matter.

NewMama's DH probably has some sort of background with his mom that shines a light on why he just wants NewMama to just "ignore it". 

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New Mama

Your definition of a TO must not be the same as mine.  Someone in a time out doesn't get invited  over for holidays.

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56 minutes ago, skipped said:

Yep, it's the I thing.  That goes for your husband too,  And anyone really.  People don't like to have things foisted on them,  You wanted me to explain better how you are restricting your husbands visitation.   1) It isn't his idea- you are making him do it  and 2) there is the effects of unintended consequences-  you not being able to visit at times will effect his ability to visit.  He can NEVER visit his mother on a holiday if you don't go.  I know that's what you have been doing.  But now that will never change,  Don't  you see that as a reason to be "sad"

 

ETA- I think you guys give a new definition to yours mine.  Not only don't we plan.  We don't visit.

I've been following this thread and I still don't understand what NewMama is making her husband do.  He is still visiting his mother.  The only difference is NewMama is not going along.  I'm just not following the logic of your argument.  

It seems like you're really stretching to find some teeny tiny remote way to make NewMama guilty for some dire burden she's placing on her DH by refusing to be around her MIL.  Her DH can NEVER visit his mom on a holiday if NewMama doesn't go.  Seems a stretch when that wasn't happening anyway before.  Does it need to change?  There doesn't seem to be any indication that NewMama's DH is losing sleep over it.  

I also wanted to say that I wouldn't care if DH didn't want to attend a big event in my family.  In fact, I've been to funerals and parties in my family that DH has not attended. And it's not even because my family annoys him.  Sometimes he's just busy or catching up on sleep or getting some time to himself.  Not a big deal.  My family asks after DH and I tell them he's busy working.  They get it.  My dad used to work a lot and would often miss big events for my mom's family.  

Edited by britomart
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After the kids and I had placed MIL in a TO, hubby wanted to invite her one year for Thanksgiving.  He had never asked to invite her before so I thought it must be important to him to do so that year.  I agreed to do all the cleaning and preparation for him if he would tell me what he wanted me to fix, but when he left to go after her, I would leave also and he was free to entertain her to his hearts content.  Immediately college aged DS and DD chimed in and said them wouldn't be here either they would make other plans.  Hubby immediately retracted and never mentioned it again.

I have no idea why he backed down.  I was very agreeable to "fixing" everything so he could spend Thanksgiving with his mother. 

This was all on him IMHO.  If someone was going to cook and clean so I could invite guest to eat with me, I'd be thrilled.

I also go visit my mom who will be 90 next week about twice a year.  Hubby is always invited to go but chooses to stay home and 'tend' to things here so I don't need to worry about anything while I'm gone.  It also prevents me from needing to worry about him being bored at my Mom's.  It works for both of us.

Edited by SueSTx
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1 hour ago, skipped said:

Maybe I missed it.  How can your husband fix this.  What I've heard from you is that it's too late to fix anything,  You said you didn't see your MIL for 9 months prior to this.  What to you constitutes a good long time out,.

I don't know how long it's going to be. A lot of it depends on if my wish for no contact from her is respected. I didn't see my MIL from Sept-May, but have seen her a few times since May. I thought since I had a break, maybe I could handle seeing her. But she's now being over the top trying to make it look like all is peachy between us, and it just made my skin crawl. 

When I said I'm done, and that nothing will change with her even if she apologizes means I will never have a close relationship with her. I will never trust her, she's demonstrated again and again she can't be. She is self absorbed, passive aggressive, plays the victim and is pathologically dependent on others. If I couldn't catch a break from her behaviour when my mom died, there are no circumstances that exist where I will get a break from it.  When things started going south with her, I had always hoped maybe someday we could develop a better relationship. That door is closed. 

She will not change. My DH probably will not change in how he deals with her. But he could fix it by not pushing me to be close to her, and by backing me up when I ask her to respect my privacy/home/parenting instead of ignoring it like he does. But again, he probably won't. By his own admission, he tunes out a significant chunk of what she says, so he doesn't notice it. 

So what it's going to boil down to, is that I plan on telling him that when she oversteps, I'll be asking her once, politely, not to. And that if she doesn't respond to politely, it's going to get pretty blunt pretty fast until she finally gets it in her head that I say what I mean. And if he doesn't back me up with that, the TO from me is probably going to be permanent. 

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1 hour ago, skipped said:

New Mama

Your definition of a TO must not be the same as mine.  Someone in a time out doesn't get invited  over for holidays.

The point I've been trying to make for this whole thread is that my DH and I sat down and had a conversation about how each of us felt, what our concerns were, and where can we go from here. There was a mutual exchange of thoughts and opinions and feelings. Understanding that one person's Big Deal is not necessarily the other's. One of his concerns was what will happen if I don't want to be around her, and she's alone on Christmas because SO isn't around for some reason. I'm not going to get anywhere with him if I don't let him know that I'm listening to him too. I said I wanted an indefinite break from her and if the Christmas situation arises, we'll deal with it if it happens. 

There are consequences for the whole thing. But I wholeheartedly believe that that letting things fester until I exploded would have much bigger, more dire consequences for our family, including me not giving a rat's patootie if she spends the holidays alone. 

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@NewMama - Let me see if I have this straight... You took a TO from MIL from Sept-May. Then you decided to try to resume the relationship. But it's not working, so you're back on TO. The one possible exception, for now, is that if she's going to be alone on Christmas, you'll have her over (very kind of you, BTW, IMO). But the TO will still be in place, otherwise. And if she oversteps boundaries, your TO will become a CO (but still for you only, not DH). Have I got that right?

@ All - Ok, so for NM and her family, holiday visits w/ MIL aren't really an issue. But for some people they would be. Does skipped have a point, overall? If DIL refuses to spend time w/ MIL, does that mean that DH/DS has to choose between being w/ his mom on this/that holiday or spending it w/ DIL (and kids, if any)? In that case, does this put some responsibility on DIL for any family rift or marital tensions?

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