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RoseRed135

Is Christmas an "exception" when family/ILs are distanced or cut off?

26 posts in this topic

Do/did/would you ever end a TO (time out) long enough to, perhaps, send a Christmas (or Hanukkah, etc.) card to the relative/IL whom you have distanced? Or "break the rules" of CO (cut off) to reach out to the other party during this holiday season, even if just in a brief text or email? Or do/did/would you treat the holiday just the same as any other time?

What if the distanced/COd person tries/tried to make contact during the holidays? Do/did/would you or your spouse/SO ever respond in kind?

Edited by RoseRed135
punctuation and other small errors

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I did get a card from Bratty Cousin...and since I hadn't sent mine yet I did send one to her...it doesn't change anything. 

If she were to invite me to some event, I'd most likely turn it down. Partly because I'd spend the event wondering what she wanted from me (with her there is usually an ulterior motive) and partly I'm so busy that I'm not taking on much extra these days. 

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For me, it would have to be some significant effort on their part for me to make any effort in kind and I mean significant effort!

Edited by Cupcake55

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"Rules of cutoff"...whose rules are these?

My cutoff, my rules.

What do I want to do?

Just like every relationship is individual, so is each (if any) cutoff.  If could depend on the original offense.  Was it a deal breaker or did that last act really cross my "line"?

For instance is this person a pedophile?  Under no circumstances will he ever be allowed within about 10 miles at the least.  No contact what so ever.  Or was it the final straw (death by 1000 paper cuts) and they have matured in the last 10 years...maybe I could give them one more chance.

Edited by SueSTx
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7 hours ago, SueSTx said:

maybe I could give them one more chance

On my terms, however

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Sadly, I believe there is sometimes an increase in domestic disputes during the holidays simply BECAUSE people decide they can "be the bigger person" and it does not go well. Granted, I have heard this anecdotally so it may not be true everywhere.

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2 hours ago, agnurse said:

Sadly, I believe there is sometimes an increase in domestic disputes during the holidays simply BECAUSE people decide they can "be the bigger person" and it does not go well. Granted, I have heard this anecdotally so it may not be true everywhere.

I agree, I think sometimes people think being the bigger person can simply mean, reaching out first and telling the others to "get over it" it's a holiday and we should be able to be a family for the holiday. They know that won't work, but hey, I reached out to them, it's not my fault they refuse to rug sweep.

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When I told DH I wanted a break from my MIL, he did ask about what we would do if something happens to her current SO before Christmas and she was going to be alone. I said I would reconsider the TO, but there would have to be a very clear conversation between DH and myself as to what I will and won't put up with, and how I would be dealing with her going forward. 

She is spending Christmas with her SO, and FIL is coming to stay with us. The potential scenario of both her and FIL having no one else to spend the holidays with at the same time gives me an ulcer. I have no idea what we'd do. 

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After MIL and FIL were told to FO after a whole autumn of toxicity (topping off 17-18 years of toxicity, as far as I was concerned), we got a Xmas card in the mail from her today.

So, ITO for us....business as usual for her, apparently.

Silence is golden.

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Honestly, I've never understood why someone would want to ruin a holiday by having someone they know is toxic around.

Of all days of the year, holidays should be 'toxic free', imo

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On 12/23/2017 at 6:01 PM, oscarsmaman said:

After MIL and FIL were told to FO after a whole autumn of toxicity (topping off 17-18 years of toxicity, as far as I was concerned), we got a Xmas card in the mail from her today.

So, ITO for us....business as usual for her, apparently.

Silence is golden.

I'm not surprised. MIL probably doesn't think DH was serious when he told them not to contact you guys. Probably thinks it was just said in the heat of anger. And that DH will soften again soon, as he has, apparently, done in the past. Also, she might think it's the "right thing to do" or that, well, there's an "exception" for Christmas. Or that she's being the "bigger person" or whatever.

IMO, most likely, it will take a while before she and FIL get the fact that you've really gone NC, even if not necessarily "forever."

Then again, given distance and holiday mail, is it possible she sent that card out before that last argument?

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3 hours ago, RoseRed135 said:

I'm not surprised. MIL probably doesn't think DH was serious when he told them not to contact you guys. Probably thinks it was just said in the heat of anger. And that DH will soften again soon, as he has, apparently, done in the past. Also, she might think it's the "right thing to do" or that, well, there's an "exception" for Christmas. Or that she's being the "bigger person" or whatever.

IMO, most likely, it will take a while before she and FIL get the fact that you've really gone NC, even if not necessarily "forever."

Then again, given distance and holiday mail, is it possible she sent that card out before that last argument?

Nope, too many weeks have gone by. 

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1 minute ago, oscarsmaman said:

Nope, too many weeks have gone by. 

Ok, then, I guess it's just MIL trying to rugsweep again, brushing off the seriousness of the situation or doing what she thinks she "should."

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Or maybe she thinks this will help keep the proverbial door open.

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Or maybe she didn't listen to a word he said and simply want what she wants.

 

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In her "...and 17 years later" thread, Oscar tells us:

I pointed out, she was darned if she did and darned if she didn't, so she took the high road by sending a Christmas card. I could give her that ...

And I see her point. In fact, as I said, myself, in that thread:

...no doubt, she was between the proverbial rock & hard place, whether she realized it or not. Send the card and it might aggravate you & DS since he said "no contact" - refrain from sending one and it might look like "sulking."

But now I'm wondering, what does that say, in general, for ILs (or whoever) who are CO when it comes to Xmas and birthday cards, etc? Often members here, including me, have said that you (general) shoudln't send such cards if you were specifically told "No contact." But now, I can see where it's understandable if you take that chance at first.  Is it always understandable though? Or only for the first holiday or bday after the CO/TO goes into effect? Is there a point where it becomes sheer disrespect for the TO/CO? Or ??

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My granny always told us that "silence was consent"...so if MIL is silent, she is consenting that she knew she has been wrong for all these 17years.  If oscar or Mr oscar  are silent, they are admitting that they are knew they were wrong all this time.

NO...it doesn't make sense to the "average" person, but for those who are stubborn and hard headed, it makes perfect sense.

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MIL probably thinks we're sulking. And/or punishing her/them. And she can characterize it that way, if she wants. We can't afford to care anymore.

I had asked DH a few weeks ago if he wanted me to send a Xmas card (just checking), and he said absolutely not, it would be a lie. Not that we don't wish them all a Merry Xmas with each other, but that we even wanted to make contact of any kind. It was a real relief to hear him say that.

Today, we had a very nice time with my folks and my sister. It's been a blessedly quiet Christmas. Wish the prior 18 ones had been even half this nice. Even a quarter this nice. Amazing.

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1 hour ago, oscarsmaman said:

Today, we had a very nice time with my folks and my sister. It's been a blessedly quiet Christmas. Wish the prior 18 ones had been even half this nice. Even a quarter this nice. Amazing.

Glad you and yours had a good Christmas, Oscar! Hope you have a Happy New Year, too!

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6 hours ago, SueSTx said:

My granny always told us that "silence was consent"...so if MIL is silent, she is consenting that she knew she has been wrong for all these 17years.  If oscar or Mr oscar  are silent, they are admitting that they are knew they were wrong all this time.

NO...it doesn't make sense to the "average" person, but for those who are stubborn and hard headed, it makes perfect sense.

Interesting! Are you saying that MIL might think that if she sends a card it "means" she's "not guilty" of anything? And  she might also think that if Oscar and DH don't respond, it "means" they are?

If so, she either doesn't know, doesn't remember or doesn't believe this saying:

You have not converted a man because you have silenced him.

                                                     - John Morely, 1st Viscount of Blackburn, England/British statesman, 1874

Or maybe MIL is just "stubborn and hardheaded."

Clearly, Oscar doesn't care/doesn't have to care. But I realize that a person's POV on "silence" may inform their decision to make contact or not, regardless of the overall situation.

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Does anybody really know how another really thinks or feels?  Just another way to look at the situation...or another way to say, see I knew I was right.

It seems to me that Oscars MIL has never and will never "see" that she and her husband have caused any of the issues in their lives.  My guess is that she takes what ever stance she can to prove to herself that none of it is or could ever be her fault.

Edited by SueSTx
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Christmas doesn't change anything for me.  I would be far more impressed if my ILs called after Christmas, after their "big happy family" party.  

Alas, they don't.  They call on one child's birthday, ignore the rest.  They call a day or two before Christmas and expect us to have no plans.  We stopped celebrating Christmas with them 6 years ago.  They have not seen the older 3 children in 4+ years, and never met our youngest.  

Yet, they expect a visit at Christmas.  Nope, the "most wonderful time of the year" is not a time to spend with toxic people.  

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On 12/26/2017 at 7:05 PM, SueSTx said:

Does anybody really know how another really thinks or feels?  Just another way to look at the situation...or another way to say, see I knew I was right.

It seems to me that Oscars MIL has never and will never "see" that she and her husband have caused any of the issues in their lives.  My guess is that she takes what ever stance she can to prove to herself that none of it is or could ever be her fault.

You know what? You're absolutely right. I probably am unfounded in giving her the benefit of the doubt, of choosing the high road.

Because in addition to taking zero responsibility for anything she did, there's another aspect to my MIL I didn't think about:

In the mediation/therapy appt., MIL declared herself to be "a unique person-- I never hold grudges!" Sounds good, right? But my MIL, the narcissist, has this view of herself as the most LOVING, most GENEROUS person in the entire WORLD! Oh, her heart is so BIG! She loves so STRONG! Love conquers ALL, right? Right????

The thing is, she makes big claims but falls short on delivery. She loves to say all the right things, while doing differently.

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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ She is the only one who has to think she is "special" because she is the only one whose opinion counts anyway.

I think(LOL) that the sooner you can get them out of your head, the happier you will be and by extension so will Mr. oscar.  It may take him longer to catch on to how she "IS" but I think he will learn, but the longing for a loving mother (family) will never go away.  He may even go through a period of grieving, not for what he lost...but for what he never had.

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MIL visited yesterday while I was at work and left a present and card for me. Again signed "Love Mom". I felt I was coping ok through the holidays, and that just derailed the whole thing. I got very upset at DH, and basically told him that either he didn't tell her not to send me stuff or he did tell her and she did it anyways, both of which mean I'm being treated like my feelings don't matter. He fessed up that he told her no visiting while I'm here, but never told her about not giving me stuff. He says now he's going to tell her it's zero communication, and he'll support me taking however long a break as I need. I'm skeptical. He was quite horrified about the "Love Mom" stuff. He didn't know she had done that. 

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