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Old September 4th, 2007, 03:48 PM
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When a relative gets married

Most or half of us are probably reading the posts on the old forum. I know I am (I'm not working this month). I'm frustrated by what I'm reading.

When people get married, the general idea is that they are supposed to align themselves with their spouse. I had to deal with that when my little brother got married, when my Dad married my stepmother, etc...

I think one of the problem all relatives have is trying to figure out what healthy alignment looks like. Do you align yourself with your spouse to the point where you alienate and take pot shots at your relatives? Hopefully, no. So what do we think healthy alignment looks like?

I don't have it! My husband is aligned with his mother. Our counselor told us that and I know it's true.

Then there is alignment with a spouse. Healthy, yes, but to what degree is it healthy? Would you allow your spouse to treat your parents badly because of alignment?
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Old September 4th, 2007, 04:49 PM
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Re: When Relatives Get Married

FLALady,

You are so right. Alignment is different for everyone and that's where so many problems come in. I think it is especially hard for mother's of adult children when their children marry. Mostly because their children were aligned with them for all of their lives and it's a change that is difficult.

I guess to me it means that when you marry, your spouse becomes your primary focus and your primary family. Everyone else becomes an extension of your union. I don't think a healthy alignment means insulting each others extended families. It means respecting one another and your union to the point of making it a priority. And hopefully each individual has enough self-respect to bring balance to the new union. I guess in a perfect world you would respect your spouse and their families and get the same respect in return. Too bad it doesn't happen that way often enough.
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Old September 4th, 2007, 07:54 PM
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Re: When Relatives Get Married

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Originally Posted by suzanne View Post
It makes me wonder why everything has to be disected...Why is everything so cut and dry?

For instance, of course you are alligned with your husband, certainly you are. But why does everything have to come down to "I choose you and you alone and others are not in the picture if they don't meet our rules?"

I'm speaking of extended families....why must they be thrown out for being what you didn't want them to be? You don't throw your family away! That's not right and you all know it.

Sometimes parents are trouble...I expect you were trouble to them at one time or another. Did they throw you out? I doubt it. Why is everthing so cut and dry? It's those damned boundaries, isn't it?

I wish that book had never been written along with all the toxic people! Please! People are just people.

Boundaries and "The Toxics" have become the new mantra in this generation and you know what it's really all about? It's about getting your own way, that's all.

You simply want what you want and to hell with the others,family or not. MUST HAVE MY OWN WAY AT ANY COST!

Suzanne,

Where is all this hatred coming from?

Did anyone say anything about throwing away extended family? Did anyone mention a book? Boundaries? Who said they have to have their own way at any cost?

I think FLALady asked a legitimate question and deserves legitimate responses. Please tell me you are not bringing over quotes from other so-called "hate" sites that have nothing to do with this site.
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Old September 4th, 2007, 08:32 PM
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Re: When Relatives Get Married

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Originally Posted by suzanne View Post
I would never say anything about or against FLAlady. I did not bring anything over from the hate sites. I'm merely expressing my view. Why would you say there is hatred coming from me?

I do wish those books had never been written because it has made such tremendous problems for extended families. We used to look out for one another. Boundaries and toxic people put a stop to that.
Suzanne,

While I am sure there are people who misuse the concepts taught in the book "Boundaries", there are people whose marriages have been saved due to this book.

I admit, I have read this book and it changed my marriage tremendously! Boundaries are not only necessary in marriages, but in every relationship you have. This book is helpful to the employee which can't tell their employer "NO" (even though they have already put in 70+ hours in a week and haven't had a day off in 3 weeks). This book is helpful for any pushover.

I really think it's unfair for you to judge this book, just because you know of people who abuse the knowledge learned in the book.

This is the number one recommended book by marriage counselors.
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Old September 4th, 2007, 08:37 PM
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Re: When Relatives Get Married

I am about to go to bed, but I have to say my kitten is showing a very healthy alignment towards me. My husband will only allow him to eat science diet kitten, but I slipped him a little Fancy Feast canned food and that kitten is my now my best buddy. He is totally aligned....my kids are wondering why he follows only me through the house. He is sitting on my lap right now and purring....so we're off to bed!
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Old September 4th, 2007, 09:43 PM
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Re: When Relatives Get Married

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Originally Posted by suzanne View Post
I understand all that. I am a people pleaser so it did help me. People have taken the thing too far now. They have boundaries for people who don't deserve it. All parents are not toxic either. It seems to me that people have taken Toxic too far also. Something has to stop and some kindness has to prevail again.

Each situation is different - it is not possible for anyone to judge what is happening in each situation that has been labeled toxic, or in need of boundaries. Only the people who have made those decisions can understand why they are in the place the currently are.

I have had someone jump on my on the other board because I use "I" statements and I relate things from my point of view and how things are with me, my DH and my ILs. I was accused of talking about myself.

Um... I can't talk about or for anyone else BUT myself. One of the things that I see over and over - on many boards - is that people are not willing to take responsibility for themselves and are readily blaming others.

Yes, there are many people who aren't bad, aren't toxic, aren't understood.

But there are many who are bad, are toxic and they are in need of boundaries.
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Old September 5th, 2007, 03:54 AM
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Re: When Relatives Get Married

Quote:
Originally Posted by suzanne View Post
I understand all that. I am a people pleaser so it did help me. People have taken the thing too far now. They have boundaries for people who don't deserve it. All parents are not toxic either. It seems to me that people have taken Toxic too far also. Something has to stop and some kindness has to prevail again.
Is it me who has offended you?

B/c I use toxic quite a lot in my posts when I refer to my IL's. The only other word I have for them is abusers- b/c that is what they are; MY IL's are abusers. However, I think a lot of people still just associate that word with Physical and Sexual Abuse. I can't ever accuse them of doing either of them things to me. That is why I prefer the word Toxic.

I am keen to always stress that I do not belive it's b/c they are my IL's that I find them toxic, it's actually their behaviours towards many other people outside of mine and DH's marriage that makes them toxic people - not just toxic IL's.

Many parents are not toxic of course they aren't. Some however are and do not become so just b/c their child has married, they most probably have always been that way. I think you feel everyone has this attitude that all parents they are connected to by marriage are toxic b/c everywhere you look on the internet are forums like these that are addressing these issues. We are a small handful of people in the whole grand scheme of things who find we share similar experiences, and this is the only outlet in which we can share these experiences.

I once again repeat and stress (and I know I must be boring others b/c I certainly am boring myself with it, I just wish people would understand it!) if you are here with a difficult relationship with your DIL and she is a genuinely difficult person and we are here with a difficult relationship with our MIL's and FIL's who are genuinely difficult people then truly we are on the same side!!!!

We are people trying to deal with other people who are difficult. However, we should be coming to these sites to gain a perspect from a person on the outside of our personal situation looking in, who may be able to constructively tell us, either another viewpoint or validate our concerns.

I too am a people pleaser, but we (DH and I) have to protect our immediate family, being our kids first and foremost. We are kind people, we would do anything to help anybody and anything for anybody, unfortunately in order for us to make DH's parents happy, we have to remain targets of their abuse/toxicity. Hoenstly, our unhappiness, along with other peoples makes for their happiness. Believe me, if they were normal everyday people, visiting them, allowing them to have a decent full on GP/GC relationship with our kids and everything else the majority of people dream about in a relationship with their IL's (well most people actually take for granted) truly and honestly? There would be no issue. I would never have even happened on sites like this.
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Old September 5th, 2007, 04:29 AM
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Re: When Relatives Get Married

Quote:
Originally Posted by suzanne View Post
I understand all that. I am a people pleaser so it did help me. People have taken the thing too far now. They have boundaries for people who don't deserve it. All parents are not toxic either. It seems to me that people have taken Toxic too far also. Something has to stop and some kindness has to prevail again.
After the dust had settled on the parent board - - - both sides of the debate can agree that the people posting have valid reasons for why their relationships are the way they are.

To blanket and say - "people have taken things too far, etc." groups all stories into one mold. Not all stories fit into the same mold. And unless you have the ability to unbiasedly view all sides of the situation - - -

SIDE A - - - SIDE B - - - The Truth

there is no way to judge what is going on with other people..

A lot of the bickering about could bes, should bes, would bes would be eliminated if we stop projecting our expectations on other people and work with what is ours to control.

I can't control how the ILs act - only how I act/react around them.
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Old September 5th, 2007, 06:05 AM
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Re: When Relatives Get Married

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I still believe that some people have become so self-centered that they over-use the Toxic and Boundaries so that they will no longer have to be responsible for another person. (I know you are only responsible for yourself, please don't scold me for saying that)
Self-centered people over-use whatever is at their disposal. You are seeing people overuse the term toxic. There are those who use a few lines of the Bible to defend their selfishness. Others use psychiatric diagnoses to defend their behavior. Some say the devil made them do it. That has always existed and always will.

That being said, I don't think everyone is toxic, but I think we are all capable of toxic behavior. Each and everyone of us is capable of it. Real change occurs when we do accept that we are responsible for our own behavior, see what ways we've been "toxic" and change them. If we aren't doing this, then we aren't growing, emotionally or spiritually.

And that's my lecture for today.
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Old September 5th, 2007, 06:36 AM
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Re: When Relatives Get Married

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Originally Posted by suzanne View Post
Kindness to others would be so wonderful, wouldn't it?
Right there with you on that one!

I guess "good and bad" is one of the scales of life. Unfortunately we recognise when the scales have tipped towards the bad more often than when they're tipped towards the good. The bad seems so more unjust and extreme too. (Thinking about the taking of lives, particularly children more than my own situation).

Also I suppose if every one did everything right all the time, throughout all their lives, there would be no capacity for us to learn and grow. We learn about ourselves and others through the actions of others as well as ourselves.
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