Friday, October 17, 2008

In Law Update... aka... Where Things Stand


Supermom said...

Awwww Mrs F. That is a tough situation. I really don't have any advice to offer...sorry. I am a lousy new friend.

I don't understand why they don't like you? Hmmmm....

We'll plan a time for our pedicure soon!!!!

I had fun today. Thank you for the adult conversation.

Michelle :)

Haley said...

Good grief, I don't get these people.

And while I understand that Mr. F is shying away from maintaining a relationship with them and holds some sort of resentment, if it's taking this kind of a toll on you, then in my totally un-asked for opinion, he should step up and DO SOMETHING. While avoiding the situation makes him comfortable, it seems to be driving you crazy, and that just doesn't seem fair.

It's not your job to manage his family, it's his job, and when his family is causing you this much grief it's his job to make it better as best he can. No, he can't make them like you, but he can demand that they respect you and make sure that a clear picture of who you are is presented to them, whether they want to believe it's true or not.

At least by clearly communicating the new situation of him being in charge of communication, and making sure they understand the old situation where you took care of everything, that might give you a little bit of closure to know that at least they've gotten that info, even if they refuse to believe it.

And if they think you're deleting messages, or blocking communication, wouldn't they call his cell phone?

Argh, these people!!! Even in absentia they piss me off.

Mr. F, you know I don't think badly of you, and I'm sure the situation is a complicated and emotionally fraught one, and it's not my business or my place to call you out on shit, but COME ON MAN!

Amy said...

I so have a similar relationship with my husband/ his family. I no longer buy/send/call. I do remind him to do so, which he says, "Yeah, I should." but never does.

I'm sure my IL's think that I'm behind this - but they created the relationship that they have with him, not me. It is true that when he puts himself out there, they tend to crap on it in some way - so I don't blame him for avoiding.

It just sucks not to have the nice, or cool, or sweet grandma on my husband's side for the kids to adore. I'm feeling for you.

Marilyn said...

Mrs. F, I know this is really hard. My first in-laws didn't like me and it was so difficult. Now, you may not like my suggestion, but here goes. I think at some point -- and perhaps it's far in the future -- you should just resume things. Start sending b-day cards and gifts, and perhaps even say, "we miss you." I know this seems inauthentic, but some part of Mr. F must feel badly about this, and they are your kids' grandparents. I know this may be too hard to do, but I just had to let you know my thoughts. They're going to be too proud to ever do anything, and you're the peacekeeper in the family, even if they blame you for everything. It's unfair, I know. Just my thoughts.

Renee said...

Wow, Ms. F....this is really crazy-we defintely need to talk...yet another similarity to add to my list. I have to agree w/ Marilyn somewhat...but I have to reiterate that I have a similar situation so I'm no good at giving advice however, I feel like you if don't continue to be authentic you no matter what their feelings ...its only hurting you because its stress you don't need...we definitely need to vent over coffee SOON!!!!

Danielle said...

Uggh...I'll refrain on commenting because I am still freshly wounded from mine. But, I will say that their issues are THEIR issues and not yours. I'm learning how to put on my bullet proof's hard, but I'm getting better!
p.s. your hair looks so cute!

Mrs Furious said...

Danielle! I was literally just thinking of you

Marie said...

Ugh. At this point (from what I've gathered) you've really done everything you can to try to be accepted into their family. And they have all but said no. And it seems like Mr. F really doesn't have a strong desire for a close relationship (at least one where he would have to put most of the effort into) at this time. If it was me, I think I would just let it go and think of them as only those "distant" relatives you see at weddings and funerals. If at some point Mr F desires to rekindle his relationship, then I would definitely encourage it, but not be the only one doing it. KWIM? It stinks for the kids because they have grandparents, but not ones that are really involved...

All in all, personally I would just forget that dh had parents and focus on the rest of the family that wants to be involved.

(in some sick, twisted way this will probably make his parents the happiest...then they will be able to complain and gossip about how "awful" you are for years...and they really seem to need really a win/win!!)

Staci said...

As you know I was in the same boat 8 years ago. I feel for you. :)

As the daughter in law, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

I TOTALLY agree with Marie's comment!
That's what we have done. No contact with ANY of my husbands family for 8 years. His choice. I support him 100%. ;)

Renee said...

After reading the history with your in laws I defintely have a better understanding of the situation and feel like it really is Mr. Furious decision and try as you might it is going to have to be up to him, not you-I think you have done all that you can to foster a relationship with his parents and that you just have to let it go...I would still send cards, updates perhaps but that would be the extent of are a busy Mom w/ two young children and they should appreciate that and make the effort because you certainly have been going above and beyond...basically, you have done all you can do and the ball is in Mr. F's family's court as to whether they want to have a relationship...and fy-there is NOTHING, let me reiterate-NOTHING in your blog that would even remotely justify some of the disgusting emails you received from supposed 'family' and I use that word lightly after some of the awful comments I read from 'family'.

Julie said...

Ugh. This totally stinks. You truly can not win either way. Why can't Mr F just call them back periodically so it does not linger and fester?

Wait a minute, Mr F, you have not contacted your sister who had a baby? C'mon. But at the same time, why the fuck hasn't she contacted you guys? I do think that most men have a deficit when it comes to things like family birthdays, births, hospital visits, etc. I also have to tell Tom to call his brother or whatever. BUT...and this is a huge but, his relatives don't openly hate me and know that it is him who is lame about "relationship upkeep."

Tom's mom just calls him at work each week for a short chat. It's usually super early in the morning and very quick because he is at work, afterall. It does take care of the whole keeping in touch thing.

I tell Tom to just do it (the minimum upkeep of the relationship) because really it only takes a few minutes to make the other person happy (and gets them off my back.) But Tom's parents don't have the same issues that Mr F's parents do. I would be incredibly pissed and resentful if my IL's did some of the stuff that has occured with you. Not sure how we as a family would have handled the whole intervention thing.

Mrs Furious said...

I'm not sure even they know why they don't like me... I think they needed to blame someone for the awkwardness and it was easier to blame me than Mr F.

I had fun too... and so did Kid she was asking when she could see her new friend again.

"but he can demand that they respect you and make sure that a clear picture of who you are is presented to them"
And, for sure, one reason I did the video is in case they are still reading/watching they'll hear that I'm not standing in the way.

That does sound a lot like our situation.

I get what you are saying. And I agree that in the long run the kids need someone to manage the relationship for them... and obviously... Mr F isn't going to do it. You are also right that I need a little more time before I can pick up where I left off.

" And it seems like Mr. F really doesn't have a strong desire for a close relationship "
He absolutely doesn't. I've even asked him things like ... "so you have any idea how you want things to be" and he responds "I don't think about... it isn't on my radar."
So why do I fret?

Mrs Furious said...

"As the daughter in law, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. "

On the baby front... it's crazy. She had it in JUNE. It's her first baby too. But I will also say that she never called either. They are all so fucked up and repressed... it's nutty. I have reminded him to call her all the damn time and he isn't avoiding her on purpose but at the same time CLEARLY having relationships with his family is not a priority. I honestly think the biggest problem is that fact... and it is what has been underneath everything that has happened.

Staci said...

" And it seems like Mr. F really doesn't have a strong desire for a close relationship "
He absolutely doesn't. I've even asked him things like ... "so you have any idea how you want things to be" and he responds "I don't think about... it isn't on my radar."

That is the same response I get from my husband when I ask about his parents & extended family. He just doesn't care.

In our case he also said, he was just stick of all the turmoil & pain they caused him.
To continue the relationship he felt wouldn't benefit ANYONE...our boys included.

At the end watching them(in-laws) treat our two boys differently (VERY) was all my husband could take and he ended it.

I think he saw them treating our boys the way they had treated him and his brother growing up and he couldn't allow them to pick a favorite between our boys too.

I hope you and Mr. F can talk about this and find a resolution that is best for your entire family. :)

Anonymous said...

Mrs. F,
I think I relate to Mr. F--I didn't speak to my sister for about two years~and it was a peaceful, relieved time for me! I had turned the other cheek over and over since childhood...and finally, could not do it again.

I wish that *I* had been the one to re-start the relationship (instead, I was pressured into it), because I probably could have used another year without all of the drama...

Anyways, maybe Mr. F needs a good, long break...then, when he feels inspired to contact them again, it will be self-motivated and he will be ready to deal with whatever stress that might entail...

Mr Furious said...

I'm not going to try and make anyone understand this from my point of view—it's just not possible.

It's late, and I'm tired, but I feel like I need to say a couple things...

1. This might sound like a cop-out to many of you and sub(just)conscious behavior to Mrs F., but I really do feel like I have all I can handle going on with my life right now. I have ADD and a new job with an exponentially more pressure on me than before. I don't remember to call City Hall for our recycling bins either. I am in minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour survival mode much of the time, and not until the kids are in bed (which is freaking late) and I have some down-time does this stuff creep up on me, and then it's too late to call anyone.

My intentions are there, but yeah, I know...doesn't count for enough...

2. Putting aside the dramatic backstory, this ISN'T actually that long of a time without speaking to either my parents or my siblings. It is the equivalent of a couple missed talks with my parents, but I regularly go months a a time without speaking to my sisters. It saddens me to think about that, but it's the way it's been my entire adult life—and I don't think anyone takes it's just how it is.

3. My youngest sister is the one that had the baby. I feel the worst about this...I really do. But the fact is, we only talked one or two times during the entire pregnancy and, frankly, in a weird way, it almost makes it unreal to me...In addition, all that stuff happened in the throes of our move and my complete immersion in work.

4. Being the liaison between two parties that don't much like each other is tough for a normal person I'd suspect, but for a brain-addled, overwhelmed stress-case with repression issues and social skill's fucking rocket science. And I often don't feel I have the energy for the work it will require. This was never easy or natural for me, and for years Mrs F was the great catalyst, so now it's that much more difficult...

5. Distance. If this were a local situation, I could cut Mrs F out of the loop and maintain an in-person with the kids back and forth with my parents. But since contact means travel and prolonged interaction, it is daunting to say the least... Are they REALLY welcome here? Would Mrs F want to go there? How the hell will this work? I can only imagine a situation where everyone pretends things are normal, and I think we all know who would have ahard time with THAT... ;-)

So, in conclusion, I'm not deliberately blowing anyone off. I'm not harboring a massive grudge—yet I recognize there is resentment. I don't need time or space, I just need to feel I have the moment of peace that will allow me to tackle this. I would be happy to have things renew, but it's hard. This is complicated, and I don't do complicated well...It'll happen, but probably not on Mrs F's timetable.

Julie said...

Mr F, I can understand where you are coming from.

Also, my husband and I also go very long periods of time without talking to our siblings and there are no issues between us. It's just the way it is. We are busy with our own lives, we don't live near each other and we are all at very different phases of our lives so there is not a lot of connection. So I really understand that.

Besides, it would never occur to my husband to pick up the phone "just to chat" with his brother. And my brother never ever calls me just to say hello. He would more likely send me a quick email.

Good luck with all the stuff going on in your life. It is a tremendous stress to start a new job, move across the country and be in the midst of raising little children...all of them together is crazy and with ADD thrown in there, even tougher.

Missives From Suburbia said...

I can side with both of you on this one, because between my in-laws and my own family, I'm representing both sides of the coin.

All I can say is that extended family requires a lot of work, and most of the time, I'm not all that convinced it's worth the effort. At least, not when you're dealing with the kind of family members I think we're all talking about.

Call your sister, Mr. F. Then you're off the hook until Christmas.

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