I am so angry with my in-laws.....
Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive June 2004:
I am so angry with my in-laws.....
that I could just scream. I can be doing something completely off the thought of them and they will pop into my head and I can just feel my blood pressure rise. I'm not normally one to vent alot, especially here, but I am hoping that I can let this go. In my moments of sanity, I know that it is upsetting no one but me.
For some reason my in-laws seem to think that they are special and should be treated as such. They come to my house (they live 2 hours away) with just a day or two notice. I am expected to feed and shower them. They do not clean up after themselves nor do they help with getting or preparing meals. Cleaning up, I'd probably fall over if they ever picked a plate up off the table. I stopped these impromptu visits, I believe, by instituting my 1 week rule. If they can't give me 1 week's notice, then they are not invited.
I can live with this and I think I've made my peace with it. However, this latest thing has just got me burning and I've been this way for almost 2 weeks now.
Timmy turned 2 on June 4. Now granted we did not have a big party or anything. It rained so we ran some errands and had a cook out at my house with my mom and dad, brother and sister. My in-laws never called to even acknowledge his birthday. There were no cards, no phone calls, nothing. We made our weekly call to them (we always call them, they never call us) on Sunday and the excuse was that they didn't have long distance on their phone and the cell phones don't get any reception. My DH did say something to her about this but made a joke of it.
I just can't forgive this one. How could they not call or at least send a birthday card? He is just a baby. I feel like everyone just expects me to deal with it the way my DH does. His answer is "that's just the way they are." It's just not fair to Timmy.
Sure I know that right now he doesn't know the difference but next year and the year after he will. My MIL manages to spend time with her granddaughters all the time. She dotes on them and does things with them. Now again, granted they live only 10 or 15 minutes away but would a birthday card have killed the woman.
For those that will say there was no way for her to call, my MIL keeps in touch with her SIL who is long distance by e-mail EVERY DAY. Every day she gets on-line at 9am and talks to her for an hour. But she could not see fit to send a $.99 card to her grandson.
I want to call and just blast her with this one. Especially since even after my DH talked to her about this she still hasn't bothered. She even had the audacity to ask what Timmy wanted for his birthday. This to me means that she has not even thought of him so far. My DH just says that doing that would be like entering into WWIII and it's just not worth it. WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT'S NOT WORTH IT? Yes, to me this is a battle worth fighting.
Sorry, I got carried away on this one. I'm hoping that this will help let it go. My friends that know about this just want to help bash my MIL and all that seems to be doing is fueling the fire. This is one fire that is a blazing inferno.
I have great in-laws too. My dh will not say one thing to them, he is still trying to get their approval. I just figure that I can be the better person. I would just let them know that you will not allow your children to be hurt!
Let me tell you Iv gone through this with my in-laws for over 15 years now. My girls are 11 and 15 and his mother(FIL passed away 3 years ago but, he use to call them some birthdays) has never sent my girls as much as a card for their birthdays or any other holiday. Her and I have never gotten along so this is how she treats my kids. My DD's are no# 2 and no#4 of the bilogical grandkids(2 step granddaughters) and they are still treated like she doesn't even know them. There are 10 Grandkids and two on the way.My nieces are 15 and 13 and she treats them like they are princesses. It's hard because my DD's are very close to the nieces. I use to cry and get so very worked up about it because I use to get told the same thing from my DH and other members of the family that this is just the way they are and I was expected to just except it. Well, my Dh after many years of it finally woke up and we have excluded her from our lives and she only lives 5 miles away. There is lots more to why we don't have anything to do with her any more but, too long to go it to it. Iv had to just finally come to the conclusion that it her lose of not wanting to be a part of our DD's lives.
This probably wont make you feel any better. But just wanted to say that my in-laws (fil and his wife & mil and her dh) NEVER have sent even a card or just called on my kids bdays. I use to expect it and then I would get upset (because my family is SOOOO good to my kids). Now I dont expect anything on the kids bday's from the in-law's and it doesnt bother me near as much.
I know for a fact that they buy things for my sil's kids on their bday's.
Oh wellll...The way I see it, we make a good living, my kids dont *want* or *need* for anything. My family goes overboard on their bdays and Christmas. They get things from both of my sisters, my parents, my grandparents, my girlfriends, their friends, their Dad (ex), their Dads family!!! They get way more than enough.
As far as him being 2 he will never know grandma didnt call him-- when he is older (if this continues, he will realize who really loves and cares about HIM). He will have special memories of those people that made a special effort for HIM on special occassions and he wont have those memories of your in-law's. It is their loss!!!
I hope that didnt make you feel worse. But I have certainly btdt and I just had to accept it and let go of any expectations I had. You can only change yourself, right?
Need advice 5/23 10:25am
The above post has some great advice. My inlaws forgot my son's birthday too. Luckily my husband is aware of their bad behavior and we are united as a team in the situation. We have backed off. (Little communication, etc.)
When you hurt our children you have gone too far. Period.
The one thing I have learned is, as much as I thought I was protecting my children from their grandparents (not letting them know about some of things they do) I wasn't really. Kids are very observant. They know more than you think. My kids know their grandparents do not put them first (or even second) in their lives. Instead of sheilding them from that, we just surround ourselves with adopted family members who do.
PS...Having spoken up MANY times to my inlaws, and not being heard, I really do not know if it is worth your time of effort to tell them off. If they are like my inlaws it will go in one ear out the other.
First let me say that I have had a strained relationship with my inlaws for 24 years, so I do know where you are coming from. But, I guess I side with your dh. Would blasting them change anything? Do you think they are truly clueless and would take a more proactive spot in your son's life. Or would it just make you feel better? Are you willing to have the relationship end over this? Is this the line in the sand?
I know this is so hard...I think the hardest part, If I am hearing you correctly, is that it is the relationship that is at issue. My inlaws are also really thoughtless. It doesn't appear to be intentionally mean, but it is that the relationship is so unimportant that things are simply not a priority. I know it is painful to look at but once you grieve the fact that they just simply are not, and will not, ever be the people you want as your inlaws or grandparents to your son, it does get easier. Its not at all fair, but it is what it is. Blasting them may feel temporarily good, but it wont create the relationship you desire it will only cause more tension. It sounds like you have great parents and you should really focus on that relationship for your son. And, you are right to set ground rules with them . They can not function like there is suddenly some close relationship (showing up with no notice) if they don't work on it all the time.
I totally know where you are coming from and its not easy. I wish it wasn't so hard.
Annie, you hit the nail on the head with your questions.
Yelling, screaming, cursing up a blue streak would do nothing for them. They have no idea that their actions affect anyone else in this world. They are self-centered people. It would make me feel better but no one else. My son would never know the difference. My DH would feel bad for me and his family. My family would just go on as they do now.
I don't know where to draw the line in the sand.
Many times my DH and I have had arguments over this but it always ends the same with nothing ever changing.
This too will pass and it will happen again. I'm just having a terrible time passing it this time. More so than before.
Well, I now have a good relationship with my in-laws because I have come to accept who they are. Like you, it used to really bother me that they spent more time with my SIL's children and that they didn't always remember my ds's birthdays. However, after having a heart to heart with my MIL (out of the blue one day) I realized that she is more comfortable around my SIL's children because she feels that the mother is really the primary person in raising children. She feel like she can say more to her daughter's dks and she can say more to her daughters about how they are raising their dks. She feels she treats me and my boys differently because she doesn't want to over step her bounds. Even though I may not fully agree with her, I understand where she is coming from. My parents on the other hand are very involved with my dks and we see them often. We usually only see my in-laws 2 or 3 times a year. I know they love my dks, they are just different about expressing it. Now, that I have come to accept this and I have realized that they aren't going to change, I am at peace and can enjoy them for who they are. My oldest ds is 6 and he doesn't really say anything about them. He loves spending time with them when we see them, but it doesn't bother him if they forget his birthday. He has plenty of people to spoil him, so I don't think he is missing anything. If he asks questions when he gets older, I am just going to explain that we have different types of relationships with the different people in our lives.
I hope my perspective on things helps a little. I have BTDT and know how you are feeling. My best advice(though it may not be what you want to hear) is to try and let it go. Life is to short to let their actions make you miserable.
It's tough to swallow your anger, and I have many times. But, my inlaws while they may be thoughtless at times, never did anything outright cruel to my dh or my kids, so I did.
My kids don't have the same relationship with in the inlaws as the did with my folks, partly due to proximity and partly cause I was closer to my mom. I think it is hard for them to get to know kids they don't see that often either.
What is it about inlaws, do they have to be so insensitive? I posted the other week about my mil, making up excuses not to go to my daughter's grad, and she did not in the end. The only one she is hurting really is her self, as my dd goes to pick up her cousin at mil house and will not go in, and my middle dd said she is not inviting her to her grad. This attitude of mil's started years ago, when the kids were little, we knew who was the favorite, grandkids, mil once said to me, I pay more attention to the others because I know your parents are so involved with your kids, and I have the other, daughter in laws ( 2 of them) one is always threating suicide, and the other who is hypacondrack and does not look after the kids, and I figure you guys are doing good,( you have a good head on your shoulders) and with your parents and you don't need me. The problem is that we as mom's may have awesome parents, we are really close and being brought up in an enviroment where, we were always though of first, and feelings did matter, and then to be put into a marriage that dh parents are the opposite is a shock to our system. My dh says the same things as the other dh's on the board, why do you even bother I told you, she wouldn't--------- . It is really sad when mil own children don't care anymore, but that is the enviroment that they were brought up in. I also found it strange I never seen my dh hug his mother, or say I love you, which I encourage even though, she is the way she is. Bingo is No.1 to her and it does not matter what is going on, if it is high roller night to bad for you. I have come to the conclusion that I have to let go,especially since the grad issue, it is just not worth me getting a ulcer over. I am fortuanate to have parents who love me, dh and the girls, and it could be worse we could have no one. My dh has always said to me that my parents, have been more of parents to him than his own. which is sad.
I don't think their is much you can do, you unfortunatley will have to come to the conclusion, that "they are the way they are" (sorry) had to use that line.
It is good though that you controlled thoses visits, I would also add , when they come to visit, that your place is just getting to small, etc.. and you would be happy to find a hotel for them. That way you will not be cleaning up after them.Sorry not much help but it is a losing battle, and really not worth your time and energy, but you have to find that out for your self most of us have gone through this, and things get said back and forth, which can really sting, and well, that is putting more fuel on the fire. Also, I have to think in my own situtation, if I had not let my frustrations with mil out in the open in front of the girls, ( maybe they would like her a little more) That way they can form their own opinion of their grandmother/father.
I knew that alot of what I was going to get here was going to be alot of what I didn't want to hear. But it is what I needed to hear.
It is impossible to change these people. They are oblivious. My mom and I have talked about this so many times. Her in-laws were the same and because I had to deal with my GM doing these things to me, I know that they hurt sometimes even as an adult.
There are certain things that I can control though and I have. We do live by the 1 week rule. The last time they came to see us they ended up making it a day trip because they could not give me 1 week notice. I have gotten my DH's support on this one. Also, my in-laws (MIL & SIL) think that they should be able to keep Timmy for a week during the summer. I've always said no because he was too young. I'm changing that to, no because he does not know each other well enough.
I'm still angry but many of you are right. Timmy knows who loves him and who cares for him. He knows our names and our faces and our voices. Though he does go to my MIL and SIL and is not shy with them, he does not run to them with a smile on his face and his arms outstretched in a hug. They have to work to get this from him. The rest of us get it freely. It's their loss and I hope it's not hateful to say that someday, I hope they realize the relationship they gave up.
Boy can I relate. My in laws are so bad that we now have no contact with them whatsoever. My dh completely agrees that his parents behaivor is just not acceptable. Sad to say but they will not see our dd again. The thing that really has urked me the past two years is we relocated from the West coast where my family is to the East coast so we could have a relationship with them. My dh has a brother and 2 sisters. The sisters families are treated like gold and the boys are nothing in the parents eyes. My dd has a cousin (dh sister) who is about the same age. My mil dotes on that child and dismisses my dd. I could go on and on about all the obviious things she does, but it would get me too mad. She knows what she is doing so she gets no sympthy from me or dh.
I think the straw that broke it for me was when I asked my mil what she wanted dd to call her. You know Grandma ___. Well she told me "I'm not really her grandmother your mom is so she can call me something different". I was livid. We never said anything to dd and she figured out a name all by her self. She referred to them as "daddy's mommy and daddy".
Maybe this may help or not. When I was growing up I was the child in my family that was "second best" so to speak to my grandfather. My mom's parents lived far away. They was 28 grandchildren so when we visited it was for family reunions. My grandparents treated everyone the same. My dad's mom died when I was seven. I don't remember to much about her. But my grandfather always favored my sister over me. It seemed as though it was the youngest in all of the families. I have to say that looking back on it as an adult. It really does not bother me and I don't remember it bothering me that much then either. In fact my sister and I were even laughing about this last weekend. Some of the stupid gifts I used to get were kind of funny. I some how knew that was just my grandpa take it or leave it. Like most of you said he was not going to change. I told my sister this last weekend also. The only thing that I remember bothering me about it was. We had a grandparents day when I was in 6th grade. He did not come to mine and the next year he went to hers. You know what she said. You were lucky. All of the other grandparents left when they were supposed to and grandpa would not leave. He also told all the kids in the class about his brain surgery. She said back then she was so embarrased. I always knew that my grandpa was very eccentric and that was what I loved about him. Point is this may or may not affect your dk's the way you think it will. I lived it and really did not bother me. I think its how you react to it that will help also.
I never had in - laws
But as you know dad has gotten worse. I thought things were getting better after he remarried. But he has dropped off the face of the earth again.
I'm tired and drained from making all the efforts.
The last straw was Rachel's birthday. He told me to remind him of the children's birthdays and I gave him a note of Rachel's birthday 6/8 and Alyssa 7/3.
On 6/8 nothing. We had even seen dad and Ethel the day before. 6/9 nothing. We didn't have a birthday party except Rachel, me, dh and Shannon and Alyssa, Ethel doesn't go to family functions as she told us as Thanksgiving and Christmas.
On 6/10 (you know where we live) Rachel received two birthday cards postmarked 6/10 at Blue Ridge Summit, we have a p. o. box. We went down that night to thank them and asked them why they didn't stop by to give it to her, and Ethel said "Isn't it nicer when you receive it in the mail?"
No clue, but I truly believe mom was the glue that held the family together. I believe because dad came from a dysfunctional family, his true colors are shining through (he is a real negative person, I know where I get it from now;). She (Ethel) is not willing to make an effort. I'm too busy right now and it has physically stressed me out.
Mom always went all out for their birthdays, not money wise, but just treating them special.
I don't get angry over it anymore, Rachel is over it also.
I just miss mom.
(((Amanda))) you know I'm thinking about you
WOW, Marg, I am going through the same thing. My mom died 18 months ago, and my dad has remarried and has quit showing up at my kids things. It's not her fault, I don't think, cause it's his friends that are doing stuff with. It's almost like he is 16 with his first crush and has forgotten he has a family!
Ditto Annie, I think mom always made the family feel like a family (dad's mom was verbally and physically abusive). Dad is not that way, but is very negative and gets upset quickly.
Mom was always the happy go lucky, loving one. I guess I'm just expecting him to fill her shoes. I've learned way too much since she has passed.
It wouldn't be so bad but I only have dad and a nephew left. I have a sister but she is bipolar and I rarely see or hear from her let alone know where she is living. DH only has a brother, aunt and nephew left.
(((Annie))) wish we lived closer...
What's so odd about my dad is that he is very family oriented. That's why this reminds me more of a teenager than grownup!